Australia’s Gas Infrastructure Owners Test Hydrogen Blending

Transmission firms say that future-proofing the pipeline network will assist the transition to a green economy.

Blending hydrogen with natural gas is under way Down Under.

Natural-gas transmission firms in Australia have begun running tests to blend hydrogen with their hydrocarbon product in a bid to future-proof their AUD 75 billion in assets. Cashing in on rare bipartisan support for hydrogen across Australia’s national and state governments to help cut carbon emissions, pipeline and network owners have already committed A$180 million to a range of projects involving green hydrogen, according to Reuters.

A study done for the government found hydrogen can be safely added to gas supplies at up to 10% by volume without having to modify pipelines or appliances.

The advantage of blending hydrogen into gas allows for a gradual buildup of the hydrogen industry, requiring electrolyzers of up to 1 gigawatt, compared with the bigger, more costly electrolyzers that will be needed for green hydrogen exports.

In the first test of hydrogen into a distribution network in Australia, Australian Gas Infrastructure Group (AGIG) is set to start injecting a 5% blend of green hydrogen by volume in gas next month, going into 700 homes in Adelaide.

Jemena, a company owned by State Grid Corp of China and Singapore Power, is working on a similar government-backed project in Sydney, blending up to 2% hydrogen into the country’s biggest local gas network later this year.

Australian states have pledged to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, in line with many developed countries. Some states are pushing to have 10% hydrogen in gas pipelines by 2030.