Spanish Green Hydrogen Pipeline to Receive EU Funding

MADRID, Nov 28 (Reuters) - Two renewable hydrogen projects partially managed by Spain's gas grid operator Enagas have been included in the European Commission's list of Projects of Common Interest (PCI), the company said on Tuesday, meaning they could benefit from accelerated permitting procedures and subsidies.

Enagas is positioning itself to play a major role in the Spanish and European energy transition, moving from its traditional role as natural gas grid operator to managing a network of hydrogen infrastructure.

The Commission's list includes the H2Med corridor - a future multibillion-euro "green" hydrogen pipeline connecting the Iberian peninsula to France and on to Central Europe by 2030 - as well as its planned hydrogen trunk network in Spain and two of its associated storage facilities.

Enagas said the projects' inclusion in the list would "help to make progress in fulfilling the RePowerEU Plan to achieve the European and Spanish goals of energy independence, industrial competitiveness and decarbonization".

The Commission's PCI list is still subject to final approval by the European Parliament and EU Council in early 2024, Enagas said.

In October, German gas grid operator Open Grid Europe joined its French, Spanish and Portuguese peers in working to develop H2Med. Hydrogen is seen as a way to help industrial customers decarbonize production.

According to Enagas, the Spanish Hydrogen Backbone Network and its storage facilities represent an estimated investment of around 4.6 billion euros ($5.04 billion).

Enagas Chief Executive Arturo Gonzalo said in July that EU funds could cover up to 30-50% of the projects' costs and noted that the bloc was likely to give greater support to international projects than to national infrastructure, which would still be eligible, but possibly for a smaller share.

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