GRTgaz, Fluxys work on France – Belgium hydrogen transmission network


France/Belgium – GRTgaz and Fluxys have decided to issue a call for proposals for the development of an open-access, cross-border network for the transmission of low-carbon hydrogen in Hainaut, between the areas of Valenciennes in France and Mons in Belgium.

This network, which would span around 70 kilometers and help decarbonize this region known for its strong shared industrial heritage, would be the first of its kind between Belgium and France. The European Hydrogen Backbone initiative envisions the development of interconnected networks transporting low-carbon hydrogen in Europe, and this project is the first step in that direction.

The goal of the project is to connect emerging low-carbon hydrogen production and consumption projects in the area, as well as to foster the development of a cross-border, low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem that ensures supply security, flexibility, and local impetus via shared network infrastructure.

The project’s first phase consists of a market consultation to confirm the economic interest in constructing transmission infrastructure in Hainaut’s border region. Initial technical studies will be possible as a result of this.

Following initial hydrogen market consultations in France and Belgium in 2021-2022, during which the two companies spoke with market participants about their transmission infrastructure needs, GRTgaz and Fluxys have identified the Valenciennes area in France and the greater Mons area in Belgium, including La Louvière and Feluy, as areas with significant hydrogen development potential.

GRTgaz and Fluxys have decided to collaborate on a proposal for hydrogen transmission infrastructure via a cross-border pipeline based on this discovery.

European hydrogen backbone

Low-carbon hydrogen is emerging as a key energy carrier for achieving Europe’s carbon neutrality targets by 2050, despite the challenges of the ecological transition.

The proposed infrastructure is the first step toward the creation of a comprehensive European transmission network. It is in line with the European Hydrogen Backbone’s vision of ensuring hydrogen consumers’ supply security and creating a common European market, which is being promoted by about 30 gas transmission operators across Europe.