EU approves €3-billion package for hydrogen pipeline

BRUSSELS, June 25, 2024 – The European Commission has approved an estimated EUR 3-billion German aid scheme to support the construction of a hydrogen transportation pipeline known as the Hydrogen Core Network (HCN), the EC announced on Friday.

The HCN will be the backbone of a long-distance transport system for hydrogen in Germany and part of the European hydrogen network connecting several member states. Germany’s scheme intends to facilitate investments to repurpose existing gas pipelines to transport hydrogen and to construct new hydrogen pipelines and compressor stations.


Construction and operation of the HCN will be financed by transmission system operators, and the aid will take the form of state guarantees which will allow them to obtain more favourable loans and cover initial losses in the ramp-up phase of the HCN.

“A core network of pipelines to transport hydrogen is crucial to trigger investments in hydrogen production and consumption and can help accelerate the green transition. The German scheme approved today will significantly contribute to the development of a European hydrogen market while minimising any potential distortions to competition,” said Margrethe Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice-president in charge of competition policy.

The first major pipeline is expected to be operational in 2025, while the completion of the entire HCN is expected in 2032.

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