EU approves hydrogen state aid in Poland and Slovakia

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The European Commission announced on Thursday (15 February) that it has approved, under EU state aid rules, a third Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) scheme aiming to develop green hydrogen infrastructure.

The project, called “IPCEI Hy2Infra,” was jointly prepared and notified by seven EU member states: Poland, Slovakia, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Portugal.

The seven EU members are expected to provide up to 6.9 billion euros in public funding, which is expected to attract 5.4 billion euros in private investments. As part of the scheme, 32 companies with activities in one or more EU countries, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are set to participate in 33 projects.

IPCEI Hy2Infra aims to support the deployment of 3.2 gigawatts (GW) of large-scale electrolysers to produce green hydrogen and new and repurposed hydrogen transmission and distribution pipelines of approximately 2,700 kilometres.

Additionally, IPCEI Hy2Infra plans to support the development of large-scale hydrogen storage facilities with a capacity of at least 370 gigawatt hours (GWh) and the construction of handling terminals and related port infrastructure for liquid organic hydrogen carriers (LOHC) to handle 6,000 tonnes of hydrogen a year.

“For a successful roll-out of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen, all pieces of the puzzle need to come together. With this new Important Project of Common European Interest, 32 companies, including 5 SMEs, will invest in hydrogen infrastructure, for a total of more than 12 billion euro of private and public investment, to match supply and demand of hydrogen. It provides industries with more options to decarbonise their activities while boosting their competitiveness and creating jobs,” said EU Commissioner, Thierry Breton.

Participants are also expected to collaborate on interoperability and common standards aiming to prevent barriers and facilitate future market integration.

Several projects are expected to be implemented in the near future, with various large-scale electrolysers planned to be operational between 2026 and 2028, and pipelines between 2027 and 2029 depending on the geographic area. The overall completion of projects is planned for 2029, with timelines varying depending on projects and companies.

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