SoutH2 Corridor Meeting on Future Green Hydrogen Offtake

On September 25, 2023, Munich played host to a significant gathering of international stakeholders in the green hydrogen sector. The "SoutH2 Corridor Meeting on Future Green Hydrogen Offtake" brought together 78 experts, policymakers, EU Commission officials and industry leaders from Germany, Austria, Italy, Algeria, and Tunisia to discuss the burgeoning green hydrogen market. Organized by the Bilateral Energy Partnerships, this event provided a platform for collaborative efforts and knowledge sharing in the pursuit of sustainable energy solutions.  

Various presentations were held on relevant topics such as: hydrogen's role in sustainability goals, insights into Algeria and Tunisia's hydrogen strategies, financing instruments, an update on the SoutH2 Corridor Project aimed at facilitating cross-border green hydrogen transport, and the significance of off-takers in green hydrogen projects. These emphasized the growing importance of hydrogen trading in Germany. It concluded with a summary by Ellen von Zitzewitz, Deputy Head Division, General Issues of Bilateral Climate and Energy Cooperation, Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK), highlighting the significance of the discussions and the potential for future collaboration, with scheduled B2B meetings further solidifying partnership opportunities. 

During the event, significant Business-to-Government discussions transpired, notably with the state-owned company Sonatrach, engaging key organizations including ThyssenKrupp Uhde, Nucera, KfW, Wacker, Bayernoil, MAN, VNG, Siemens, Eni, and Transmissions System Operators (TSOs) from Bavaria, Italy, and Austria. These talks spurred interest from stakeholders like Wacker, Bayern Oil, and the BAY Chemiecluster in fostering closer cooperation, recognizing the substantial potential in hydrogen pipeline imports.  

Algeria (DZA) gained crucial insights into off-take arrangements, with the event laying the groundwork for investments in hydrogen generation, including a commitment of up to €25 billion by Sonatrach for hydrogen production and transport infrastructure.  

The European Commission (EU COM) welcomed the discussions, bolstering prospects for Projects of Common Interest (PCI) and the planned Programme for Market Implementation (PMI) decision. EU COM (DG NEAR) is exploring co-financing options for Algeria, while Austria and Italy expressed gratitude for the initiative and are considering their own H2 Global approaches. Italy, Austria, and the EU COM show interest in closer cooperation with H2-Global and the EU Hydrogen Bank, with SNAM and ENI taking the lead in Italy. 

The first Offtaker meeting of the Southern H2 Corridor serves as the starting point for a collaborative process. In the coming months, key steps include organizing Energy Days in Algeria and Tunisia. To accelerate the process, a timely visit from the German Federal Ministry is anticipated, further cementing the commitment to green hydrogen. Collaboration with the Bavarian Ministry of Economy has been successful, marking a promising partnership. The event marked the beginning of a journey towards a greener and more sustainable future.