Romania: Hidroelectrica – Verbund cooperation possible hydrogen production

, SEE Energy News

Austria’s largest producer of renewable electricity Verbund is developing a European project named “Green Hydrogen @ Blue Danube” for the production, transport and use of green hydrogen for industrial customers and for the mobility sector. On the agenda of the next meeting of Hidroelectrica’s shareholders, scheduled for 29 March, will be the approval of a memorandum with Austrian Verbund for the joint development of the “Green Hydrogen @ Blue Danube” project, aimed at the production, transport, and sale of green hydrogen.

However, the company hasn’t disclosed the planned amount of the investment. The management said that the value of the investment objective will be established based on the feasibility study that will be approved by the corporate management bodies of the two partners. So-called green hydrogen would be produced through large-scale water electrolysis in Romania, using a mix of green energy (off-grid wind and on-grid hydro). The hydrogen would be transported on the Danube to users from the countries of the Transnational Danube Interreg program, such as Austria, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Slovakia, Montenegro, Serbia, Moldova, and Ukraine. The transport would be cost-effective thanks to a dedicated fleet of tankers, both propelled and non-propelled, the propulsion being also green.

The objective is to create a trans-European green hydrogen value chain from production to transport and purchase by industrial and mobility costumers. The first phase of the project focuses on production and use of green hydrogen in Austria and Bavaria. In the second phase, they will connect hydrogen produced from renewables in South-Eastern Europe. Hydrogen will be transported via the Danube, a long-established transport corridor (TEN-T) to buyers in Austria and Germany.