Brief pro­file

OGE, based in Essen, is one of Germany’s major trans­mis­sion sys­tem oper­a­tors, with a pipeline net­work some 12,000 kilo­me­tres long. Our around 1,450 employ­ees pro­vide safe, envi­ron­men­tal­ly-friend­ly and cus­tomer-focused gas trans­porta­tion through­out Ger­many. We active­ly sup­port the Euro­pean gas mar­ket and, in coop­er­a­tion with oth­er Euro­pean trans­mis­sion sys­tem oper­a­tors, we cre­ate the pre­req­ui­sites for cross-bor­der trans­porta­tion and trad­ing. Our under­stand­ing of who we are goes beyond the reg­u­la­to­ry con­di­tions that we are sub­ject to as a net­work oper­a­tor. We see our­selves as a cus­tomer- and ser­vice-ori­ent­ed provider that active­ly sup­ports the ener­gy tran­si­tion, by help­ing to improve infra­struc­tures and min­imise risks, for exam­ple –  or by con­tin­u­al­ly attempt­ing to iden­ti­fy oppor­tu­ni­ties and offer inno­v­a­tive solu­tions, be they for large, com­plex projects or for small, detailed solu­tions.

Activ­i­ties in the real-world laboratory

As part of this project, OGE will be research­ing how hydro­gen can be inte­grat­ed in the exist­ing gas infra­struc­ture in the long term. For this pur­pose, we will be installing a com­plete hydro­gen infra­struc­ture mod­elled on the nat­ur­al gas net­work and test­ing it out in real con­di­tions over a peri­od of sev­er­al years. In oth­er words, we will be repli­cat­ing the entire Ger­man gas net­work in minia­ture. The focus of the tri­als will include plant com­po­nents and pipeline tech­nol­o­gy, safe­ty sys­tems for pub­lic sup­ply instal­la­tions and new invoic­ing models.

Long-term vision

The suc­cess of this project would mark an impor­tant mile­stone for us in advanc­ing towards a car­bon-neu­tral world and gath­er­ing cru­cial expe­ri­ence for the nec­es­sary trans­for­ma­tion path. In doing so, we will be pay­ing atten­tion not only to the nation­al cli­mate tar­gets, but also to our own busi­ness mod­el — which must be long-term and sus­tain­able. For this rea­son our aim, as a lead­ing trans­mis­sion sys­tem oper­a­tor, is to devel­op, test and improve new tech­nolo­gies around hydro­gen. We are doing this with cross-sec­tor part­ners and with a region­al focus. The west coast region of north­ern Ger­many offers per­fect pre­con­di­tions for such endeav­ours. If realised, the Westküste100 real-world lab­o­ra­to­ry would be the start­ing point for trans­fer­ring the knowl­edge gained to oth­er loca­tions or parts of the net­work to sup­ply hydro­gen to indus­try, for mobil­i­ty and to the heat­ing market.

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