SGN approved for 100% hydrogen pipeline testing in Scotland

SGN approved for 100% hydrogen pipeline testing in Scotland

GB gas network operator SGN has been given approval by regulator Ofgem to proceed to the next stage of its 100% hydrogen trial.

The trial is to deliver 100% hydrogen gas through a 30km decommissioned pipeline between the eastern Scotland coastal town of Grangemouth and the district of Granton on the outskirts of Edinburgh.

SGN has reported that over the past year, a team of engineers and researchers has carried out surveys and assessments to determine the integrity of the pipeline.

These tests included an operation which involved pushing a pipeline inspection gauge (PIG) through the pipeline using compressed air to clean it and identify any critical defects.

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A hydrotest was also conducted, for which engineers filled the entire pipeline with water exceeding the pressure the pipeline will be exposed to during the live trial.

Inspections of the condition of the pipeline also were performed above ground, below ground and at river crossings.

Based on this evidence, Ofgem has confirmed the suitability of the pipeline for hydrogen testing and for the project to progress to the next stage, which will be to connect the existing pipeline to a hydrogen supply from project partner INEOS from its Grangemouth facility.

Gemma Simpson, SGN Director of LTS Futures, says that offsite trials will allow testing of procedures for making new connections to the pipeline, including the first live welding procedure on a hydrogen pipeline.

“If we’re successful we’ll be able to proceed to a live trial in 2024 which will deliver a blueprint for repurposing Great Britain’s local transmission system network, driving decarbonisation and supporting our net zero goals.”

SGN’s £30 million ($38 million) LTS Futures project is focused on testing and repurposing the decommissioned pipeline as the basis for the wider use of hydrogen within the 11,000 km local gas transmission system (LTS).

Among other activities related to hydrogen, SGN is leading the H100 Fife neighbourhood project to trial the use of hydrogen in around 300 homes and is co-leading a study on the potential use of hydrogen for heating in multi-occupancy residences, which account for about one-fifth of the country’s domestic heating demand.