Gas network operator Societa Gasdotti Italia (SGI) has commissioned DNV GL to assess the feasibility of gradually switching Italy’s second-largest gas network from natural gas to renewable gases, including hydrogen.

The study will support SGI’s ambitions to fully decarbonise the delivery of energy to Italian homes and businesses through its gas network.

DNV GL experts in Groningen (the Netherlands), Norway and Milan, Italy will investigate the potential of hydrogen transportation options across 1800 kilometres of SGI’s high-pressure regional and national network.

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The study will guide SGI in identifying suitable sections of its gas network to safely convey blended mixtures of natural gas and hydrogen.

The gas network operator’s aim is to understand if and how 100% hydrogen can be safely carried across the network.

“SGI is convinced that hydrogen will play a key role in delivering the European decarbonisation goals. However, the opportunity offered by a well-established gas transmission system to decarbonise hard to abate sectors, must be demonstrated,” SGI chief executive Federico Frassi said.

“We see growing biomethane volumes in our network and will soon start injecting synthetic renewable gas. These initiatives will prove the role that renewable gases and the whole gas system can play in a new, sustainable energy value chain,” Frassi said.

“Hydrogen is becoming an increasingly important lever in the oil and gas industry’s decarbonisation efforts. Through executing projects like this, we are demonstrating how the natural gas infrastructure in the UK, the Netherlands and now Italy can be repurposed to safely and effectively transport hydrogen,” chief executive of DNV GL Oil & Gas, Liv Hovem, said.