TransHyDE - Development of a hydrogen transport infrastructure

To meet Germany's demand for green hydrogen and implement the energy transition, large quantities of hydrogen are needed - a not inconsiderable proportion of which must be imported. The hydrogen lead project TransHyDE, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), therefore aims to further develop transport options in a way that is open to technology and also to create appropriate standards in order to thereby enable the development of the hydrogen infrastructure and support the market ramp-up.

Our site presents numerous projects that focus on the transport of hydrogen. There are very different approaches, be it transport in high-pressure containers, in existing gas pipelines or by means of green ammonia or liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC). This technological diversity is to be further investigated as part of the TransHyDE hydrogen lead project - because there is still a great need for research in the fields of action mentioned. In particular, there are currently no uniform regulations in the area of standardization, e.g. standards or safety regulations - which is currently still hindering the market ramp-up. New standards, norms and certifications are therefore needed so that the above-mentioned transport technologies can be quickly integrated into the energy system, and a separate work package within TransHyDE is dedicated to this.

TransHyDE is being implemented in various sub-projects, in which the various transport options are being looked at in more detail, both in practice and from a research perspective.

Source: Project Management Jülich on behalf of the BMBF

The implementation takes place in subprojects (please fold out for further information):


An innovative high-pressure spherical hydrogen storage system is being developed at Mukran Port on the island of Rügen. This should be able to be used on the high seas in the immediate vicinity of offshore wind and electrolysis plants from the H2Mare project. There, green hydrogen is generated by means of wind energy, which is to be stored temporarily in the spherical storage system.

"GET H2"

To ensure that hydrogen is available nationwide, the GET H2 project is investigating the use of former natural gas pipelines for hydrogen transport. Currently, there is a lack of norms and monitoring standards for the conversion of natural gas pipelines, which is why GET H2 is establishing a test environment in which material and safety questions can be answered.


The Campfire project will investigate the potential of ammonia for hydrogen transport, focusing in particular on the recovery of hydrogen from ammonia. The aim here is in particular to improve the efficiency with which the hydrogen is re-released.


In the Helgoland project, a hydrogen logistics chain is being established over land and sea. Via pipeline, the green hydrogen will be brought from the offshore plant of the lead project H2Mare to the island of Helgoland, where it will be bonded with LOHC for further transport. Subsequently, the bonded hydrogen can be shipped using existing infrastructure in a similar way to oil and, in turn, dissolved from the LOHC and made usable in a dehydrogenation plant in the port of Hamburg.

"Research Alliances"

A total of five alliances of research institutions support the projects with scientific findings. This involves, for example, materials and component research, operating simulations, or safety-related and ecological issues. The state of knowledge and current recommendations for action are recorded in a roadmap and made available to all project partners.

Further information

Three companies from Lower Saxony are participating in the project, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). These include ROSEN GmbH, Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung GmbH and Inherent Solutions Consult GmbH & Co. KG

More about the project you can find here.

Wilhelmshaven Green Energy Hub

Wilhelmshaven Green Energy Hub


Source: Tree Energy Solution

Wilhelmshaven Green Energy Hub

The import of green hydrogen via hydrogen terminals is a crucial prerequisite for the development of a hydrogen economy in Germany. The coast of Lower Saxony with its deep water port in Wilhelmshaven offers ideal conditions for this. Tree Energy Solution (TES) has therefore decided to build a hydrogen terminal in Wilhelmshaven that will enable the import of green hydrogen on a large scale. The planned terminal comprises six berths and a total of ten tanks with a storage capacity of 2,000,000 cubic meters. According to plans, the terminal will be able to import up to 250 TWh of green gases per year in the future and produce more than 5 million metric tons of hydrogen from them - equivalent to one tenth of Germany's total annual primary energy demand.

News (11/28/2022): TES and EWE plan to build 500 MW electrolyzer

As TES and EWE announced at the end of November, a 500 MW electrolyzer is to be built as part of the project. The electrolyzer is scheduled to go into operation from 2028. The capacity of the electrolyzer is to be 500 megawatts, which is to be expanded to a total capacity of 1 gigawatt with another planned plant. 

To meet its hydrogen needs, Germany will have to import green hydrogen from various countries in the future. This requires the appropriate infrastructure, which enables the landing, storage and transport into the hydrogen pipeline network. This is precisely what is envisaged in the Wilhelmshaven Green Energy Hub project, which is being implemented by Tree Energy Solution (TES). To this end, six ship berths are to be built in Wilhelmshaven that are "Suezmax-compatible" - so that large ships can also land in Wilhelmshaven ("Suezmax" describes a ship size that is permissible for passage through the Suez Canal when loaded).

TES also wants to produce the green hydrogen itself - in countries with a very high supply of hydro, wind or solar power. Renewables are used for electrolysis in the producing countries to initially produce green hydrogen. After electrolysis, carbon dioxide is added to the hydrogen to produce green CH4 (methane), which can then be transported by shipping fleet to Wilhelmshaven. Here, the CH4 is converted back to hydrogen, and the resultingCO2 is captured and returned to the producing countries in a recirculation system for further use.

Source: Tree Energy Solution

Wilhelmshaven Green Energy Hub in the model

From 2026, the terminal is scheduled to begin operations and thus the first import of green molecules. In this initial phase, 25 TWh of green methane per year are expected to be imported - from this, more than half a million tons of hydrogen can be produced. During the ramp-up phase starting in 2030, output will be successively increased so that eventually up to 250 TWh per year - and thus more than 5 million tons of hydrogen - can be imported or produced.

The project intends to take advantage of the good site conditions in Wilhelmshaven and make use of the storage and transport infrastructure currently being built in Lower Saxony. Thus, a link to the underground salt cavern storage facilities in Etzel is to be established and the pipelines built and rededicated as part of the H2ercules project are to be used to enable transport to industrial consumers in the west and south of Germany. With high import volumes of up to 250 TWh, the project is expected to contribute to security of supply in Germany and the EU.

More about the project

About TES

Tree Energy Solutions (TES) is a green hydrogen company that provides CO2-neutral energy to industry and consumers - in the form of green hydrogen, green gas and green electricity. To build a network with global reach, TES is currently developing sites in Germany, Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the United States to import and distribute energy.

Green Octopus Central Germany (GO!)

Green Octopus Central Germany (GO!)


Source: ONTRAS

Pipeline construction of ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH

Green Octopus Central Germany (GO!)

It is not without reason that the development of the German hydrogen economy is focused on the coastal region in northern Germany with its good import possibilities by sea, salt cavern storage facilities and a high supply of renewable energies. However, an extensive hydrogen infrastructure is also currently being built in eastern and central Germany with H2 transport networks and hydrogen storage facilities. The Green Octopus Central Germany "GO!" project by ONTRAS Gastransport and VNG Gasspeicher plays a key role in this and will, among other things, connect the Salzgitter steel region and the Helmstedt coalfield with the eastern German hydrogen network and the future hydrogen storage facility in Bad Lauchstädt. To this end, pipelines with a total length of around 305 kilometers will be converted or newly constructed for hydrogen transport.

From 2027, the project initiators ONTRAS Gastransport and VNG Gasspeicher want to enable safe hydrogen transport between the Central German chemical triangle, the Halle-Leipzig metropolitan region, the Magdeburg region, and also the Salzgitter steel region. To this end, the GO! project will create a 305-kilometer pipeline network linking the eastern German hydrogen network to the west with the European Hydrogen Backbone. This will create an interconnection which will open up an important route to the east for the German and also the European hydrogen network.

Although a large part of the planned network runs in Saxony and Saxony-Anhalt, the project is nevertheless also of great significance for Lower Saxony, as the Salzgitter / Hanover / Wolfsburg hub will also be accessed from the east by the pipeline. In addition, the pipeline network, together with access to further import points and the storage facilities in Saxony-Anhalt, offers greater security of supply for steel production in Salzgitter. A central component of the project is in fact the connection of a cavern storage facility in Bad Lauchstädt, which is to have a working gas volume of 50 million cubic meters.

Source: ONTRAS

The planned lines in the "Green Octopus Central Germany" project

The development of the cavern storage facility will be carried out by VNG Gasspeicher - the construction and conversion of the pipeline network by ONTRAS Gastransport. To implement the project, ONTRAS is expressly relying on existing infrastructure: 190 kilometers of existing gas pipeline network will merely be converted for the transport of hydrogen. 115 kilometers will be newly added - 47 kilometers of which will be in Lower Saxony alone (between Salzgitter and Hötensleben).

Due to its central importance for the European hydrogen network of the future (European Hydrogen Backbone), the GO! project was selected by the German Federal Ministry of Economics and Technology as an IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Interest) in 2021 and the funding was taken into account in the cabinet decision at the end of August.

More about the project

Project participants

ONTRAS Gastransport GmbH is a long-distance pipeline operator based in Leipzig. ONTRAS operates Germany's second-longest long-distance gas network with approx. 7,500 kilometers of pipeline and around 450 network interconnection points.

VNG AG, headquartered in Leipzig, is a gas and gas infrastructure group with over 20 companies in Germany and Europe. VNG Gasspeicher is a wholly owned subsidiary of VNG AG and is engaged in the construction and operation of underground gas storage facilities.

Northern Green Crane

Northern Green Crane



Source: Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies

Image: ©Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies Ltd.

Northern Green Crane

The Northern Green Crane project aims to link hydrogen production in Sweden with demand centers in Central Europe - including Lingen in the Emsland region. To this end, green hydrogen will first be produced in Sweden, which will then be made transportable and storable with the help of a liquid organic hydrogen carrier (LOHC). The LOHC is then shipped by sea via Rotterdam and the Ems to Lingen. There, hydrogen will be released from the LOHC in a planned dehydrogenation plant and made usable for local industry and fed into the local hydrogen pipeline network.

According to the National Hydrogen Strategy, a large proportion of green hydrogen will have to be imported to meet Germany's hydrogen needs. The Northern Green Crane project aims to do just that on a large scale. The green hydrogen is to be produced in Sweden using renewable energies such as wind and hydropower and made transportable and storable with the help of LOHC technology.

The green hydrogen can thus first be brought to Rotterdam by sea and then transported to Lingen by barge. In Lingen, Hydrogenious plans to build a dehydrogenation plant that can release hydrogen from the LOHC at a capacity of 12 tons per day. The hydrogen produced in this way will then be made available to local industry or fed into the local hydrogen pipeline network as part of the GET H2 initiative.

Source: Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies

The project is expected to enable the supply of green hydrogen on an industrial scale from 2026. By using the LNG infrastructure, it should then be possible to supply up to 8,000 tons of green hydrogen per year.

The goal of Northern Green Crane is to establish a large-volume European value chain for green hydrogen using LOHC. The project is therefore funded by the Ministry of Economy and Climate Protection and has also been pre-selected as a Hydrogen IPCEI (Important Projects of Common European Interest) in 2021 (or its predecessor - see info box below).

10/2022: H2 production site relocated from Spain to Sweden

As Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies GmbH announced at the beginning of October, the hydrogen production site of the "Green Crane" project will be moved from Spain to Sweden. This gives the project the new name "Northern Green Crane". Since Spain initially wants to meet its own national needs for green hydrogen, the project's H2 production site must be moved to Sweden, the company said. However, the hydrogen landing sites (such as Lingen) are not affected by the change.


Hydrogenious LOHC Technologies GmbH , based in Bavaria, was founded in 2013 and offers solutions for the safe and efficient transport of hydrogen with LOHC technology.

Vopak is a Dutch company involved in the storage and distribution of oil, gas and chemical products. The company wants to open up new value chains in the hydrogen economy and expand hydrogen mobility.

In the GETH2 project, a nationwide infrastructure with the coupling of all sectors is being developed. Regions with a high supply of renewables are to be directly connected to hydrogen production and consumption by means of the necessary infrastructure. 12 partners are involved in the project.




Hydrogen economy

The planned hydrogen pipeline network. ©H2ercules, OGE and RWE


Infrastructure plays a key role in the development of the hydrogen economy and the successful implementation of the energy transition. In the field of hydrogen, it is therefore important to build a hydrogen pipeline network that links hydrogen production sites in northern Germany with industrial centers. To accelerate this significant process, OGE and RWE have developed the "H2ercules" infrastructure project to connect consumers in the south and west with domestic hydrogen production in the north. Not only 1,500 kilometers of pipeline are planned for this, but also up to 1 gigawatt of electrolysis capacity. 

A large part of the German natural gas network can be used for the development of the future hydrogen network, as this is already well developed. Converting these natural gas pipelines to hydrogen not only represents the most cost-effective solution, but also enables a rapid approach. However, the existing gas network is to be supplemented by new construction because, according to the project partners, a structural realignment of the gas infrastructure is required. Instead of flowing from east to west and south, the gas, or hydrogen, must in future flow from the generation sites in Lower Saxony to the consumption centers in the west and south. To achieve this goal, gaps must therefore be closed and new sources connected to the existing pipeline network.

The project will be implemented in two stages: in 2028, the network from west to north - i.e. from the Ruhr region to Wilhelmshaven - is to be completed, before the network to the south is finalized in 2030. By implementing the network in this timely manner, the project partners aim to secure the supply of hydrogen to industry as quickly as possible. This is intended to break through the well-known chicken-and-egg problem, as the switch to hydrogen will be made much easier for industry thanks to existing infrastructure. The division of tasks between the project partners is clearly defined: OGE will build the required pipelines or convert them to hydrogen, and RWE will build an electrolysis capacity of up to 1 gigawatt and also import green hydrogen.

The planned pipeline network. © H2ercules

In addition to the electrolysis capacity and the construction and conversion of the pipelines, gas-fired power plants with at least 2 gigawatts and corresponding storage facilities are also to be converted to hydrogen as part of the "H2ercules" project. Existing gas-fired power plants and gas storage facilities on the Dutch border will be converted or connected to the future hydrogen pipeline system. This will create additional backup capacity to secure future energy supplies.

The project is also intended to contribute to the development of the European hydrogen market. This is because, as part of H2ercules, Germany will be connected to major import routes, whether via pipelines from Belgium and the Netherlands or from Norway.

More about the project

Project partner

Open Grid Europe GmbH (OGE) is a European transmission system operator with a pipeline network of approximately 12,000 km.

Logo: © Open Grid Europe GmbH


RWE employs around 19,000 people worldwide and aims to become climate-neutral by 2040. Various activities in the hydrogen sector are also intended to contribute to this. 

Logo: © RWE




Hydrogen economySource: Wintershall Dea

The Mittelplate drilling platform with supply ships. 


The Mittelplate oil field is the most productive oil field in Germany and has been operated by Wintershall Dea for 35 years. The field is located in the Schleswig-Holstein Wadden Sea, which is why it is planned to operate it in the most environmentally friendly way possible. In the H2Move project, the Mittelplate Drilling and Production Island's supply ships are to be converted to hydrogen hybrid drives. The hydrogen required for this is to be produced in aCO2-neutral manner in Cuxhaven.

An electrolysis plant with a capacity of 2 megawatts is currently being built in Cuxhaven for the production of green hydrogen. This is to be used by the supply ships on Mittelplate Drilling and Production Island. In addition, storage tanks with different pressure levels are being built in Cuxhaven to enable the refueling processes to be carried out as quickly as possible.

Once the plant has been completed, it is planned to transport the hydrogen produced in Cuxhaven to the Mittelplate ships in so-called tank containers under a pressure of up to 350 bar. The hydrogen will then be fed from the containers to a fuel cell, which will generate electricity and ultimately drive the electric motor of the Mittelplate vessels.

According to Wintershall Dea, the four supply vessels in the Mittelplate fleet cover a combined distance of about 12,500 nautical miles annually. The first supply vessel to be converted is the Coastal Liberty. This ship alone consumes around 275,000 liters of diesel per year and has the potential to save up to 700 tons ofCO2 annually.

The development and implementation of the onshore supply infrastructure is being implemented by Turneo GmbH, a joint venture between Hamburg-based Karlsson GmbH and EWE Gasspeicher GmbH from Oldenburg. The company EnTec Industrial Services GmbH had previously successfully completed a feasibility study in Cuxhaven. The project will ultimately also lay the foundation for the development of a regional hydrogen infrastructure in Cuxhaven.

More about the project can be found here.


About Wintershall Dea

Wintershall Dea explores for and produces oil and natural gas worldwide. The company has been producing crude oil at the Mittelplate site for more than 30 years. Increasingly, however, the company is also active in the fields of hydrogen and carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Logo © Wintershall Dea