The development of a green hydrogen project at the Bulgaria’s Chiren gas storage has started

Bulgartransgaz, in collaboration with Glavbolgarstroy Holding, American companies Solar Turbines Inc. and Honeywell, and Italy’s Pietro Fiorentini, has launched a pioneering pilot project focused on producing and utilizing green hydrogen for technological purposes at the Chiren underground gas storage facility. A memorandum of understanding has set the foundation for this innovative initiative, outlining plans for a comprehensive pilot project study. This study will explore various options for plant and equipment capacities, mixing ratios, and other specifications. It’s important to note that the green hydrogen produced by the project will primarily serve as fuel for on-site technological needs and will not be intended for external distribution.

Vladimir Malinov, the Executive Director of Bulgartransgaz, believes that this groundbreaking hydrogen pilot project for the region will demonstrate a practical approach to significantly reducing greenhouse gas emissions. He expressed optimism about the future collaboration between Bulgarian, American, and Italian companies, highlighting hydrogen’s pivotal role in achieving a zero-emissions future. Furthermore, Malinov emphasized the significance of gas transmission network operators in ensuring infrastructure security, which will also facilitate the transfer of hydrogen.

The signing of this memorandum occurred during the New Energy Environment in Southeast Europe conference held in Washington, USA. This event was organized by the Delphi Economic Forum, the Business Council for International Understanding, and the Global Federation of Competitiveness Councils. During his presentation at the Main Energy Projects panel, Vladimir Malinov detailed several ongoing projects aimed at enhancing energy security in the region. These initiatives include the expansion of the underground gas storage facility in Chiren, the establishment of the intersystem gas connection between Bulgaria and Serbia, and the advancement of the liquefied gas terminal in Alexandroupolis. Additionally, Bulgartransgaz is planning to expand the gas infrastructure and boost the capacities of the Kulata/Sidirokastro and Kardam/Negro voda interconnection points, following strong interest expressed during the non-binding market research phase initiated in July 2023. To support the expansion of the underground gas storage facility, construction work is underway for new above-ground and underground facilities. A gas pipeline is also in development to connect Chiren with Bulgartransgaz EAD’s existing gas transmission network. Partners in this expansion project include Glavbolgarstroy Holding AD, Solar Turbines Inc., Honeywell, and Pietro Fiorentini, all of whom are leading developers and suppliers of hydrogen fuel production and utilization technologies. Bulgartransgaz has ambitious plans for establishing a hydrogen network in Bulgaria, beginning with the construction of a 250 km pipeline from Sofia to the Bulgarian-Greek border, accompanied by two compressor stations. This project has been proposed as a project of common interest to the EU. Vladimir Malinov also highlighted ongoing efforts to adapt the gas transmission network to accommodate up to 10% hydrogen, underscoring Bulgartransgaz’s active participation in the European Alliance for Clean Hydrogen and the European Hydrogen Backbone initiative.

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