The hydrogen fast track.

The development of a hydrogen infrastructure is a crucial building block for the decarbonisation of Germany and the diversification of its energy supply. To accelerate this important process, OGE and RWE developed the national infrastructure project “H2ercules” last year, which will supply consumers in the south and west of Germany with green hydrogen from domestic production and via import routes. In the meantime, not only has the network grown, but the group of partners now numbers more than 20 companies.  

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The H2ercules network

The H2ercules network will comprise more than 2,000 km of pipelines by 2030. The plan is that much of this will come from repurposing existing natural gas infrastructure, to be supplemented by new pipelines. The conversion of natural gas pipelines is not only the more cost-efficient solution, but also allows for a faster timeline.

The network will be developed in several steps:

2026 - GET H2 is the core

The core of the H2ercules network is our IPCEI project GET H2, which we plan to implement together with our partner between Lingen, Gelsenkirchen and Duisburg by 2026. Here we combine generation, imports from the Netherlands, storage, transmission and offtake from the refinery, steel and chemical sectors, all on a regional scale.

2028 – Imports and generation from the North Sea and Belgium supply the Ruhr region and the Rhenish mining area

H2ercules is building on this project. Our goal is to connect domestic production and crucial import points with the major centres of consumption as early as 2028. To this end, there are plans to build a pipeline from the North Sea which, together with the GET H2 network, will provide a direct connection from Wilhelmshaven and the import point from Norway to the Ruhr region. In the same year, we plan to realise a connection to Belgium. The pipeline will run between Eynatten and Porz to meet substantial demand in the Rhenish mining area and the Cologne region.

2030 – Supply of southern Germany and development of further import corridors from southern and eastern Europe

By 2030, the network will have grown to more than 2,000 km. Along with additional pipelines in the Ruhr region and the connection to the Netherlands, we will also have developed import options from France and the Czech Republic by then. The network will then represent an H2 backbone in the west and south of Germany, reaching important centres of consumption, e.g. in the Frankfurt area, in Ludwigshafen and Karlsruhe, but also in Nuremberg and Ingolstadt.

The H2ercules initiative

The H2ercules initiative was launched jointly by OGE and RWE in 2022. The idea was to unite producers, importers, storage and grid operators as well as customers from different sectors on the basis of a concrete infrastructure. The aim behind a collaboration like this, which spans different stages of the value chain, is to overcome the chicken-and-egg problem on an XXL scale and also to pave the way for further projects.

RWE alone is planning up to 1 GW of new electrolysis capacity with H2ercules and aims to import additional green hydrogen. Furthermore, at least 2 GW of gas-fired power plants with are to be converted to hydrogen and gas storage facilities near the Dutch border are to be connected to the hydrogen supply system to create further backup capacities.

In the meantime, more than 20 additional partners have joined the H2ercules initiative. The group of partners covers the entire value chain and includes other producers, importers, storage operators and customers from different sectors such as steel, refineries, glass and chemicals.

All partners are pursuing the same goal: We want to accelerate the development of the H2 infrastructure and contribute to the emergence of a European hydrogen market. And to do so, we want to solidly join forces along the H2ercules network so that we can take the next steps together.

You can find the current partner companies here

If you would also like to become part of our initiative, please contact us: Send message

For more information, go to 

The H2ercules PCI project:
5 import corridors to be connected


The H2ercules network has grown, especially the European connection: As early as 2030, five major import corridors will be connected to the consumption centres in the west and south of Germany.

In close cooperation with our partners in Norway, Belgium, France, the Czech Republic and the Netherlands, the application documents have been submitted as a Project of Common Interest for this project. A real contribution to the European hydrogen market.

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Hydrogen fast track: OGE and RWE present national infrastructure concept “H₂ercules”

In order to speed up the process of building a German hydrogen industry and infrastructure, OGE and RWE jointly developed the national infrastructure concept called “H₂ercules”. The infrastructure is set to connect electrolysers as well as storage and import facilities in the north of the country with industrial consumers in the west and south of Germany.