Regional planning procedure for the Heek-Epe (HEp) hydrogen pipeline successfully completed
- Münster district government considers the project to comply with regional planning guidance
- A 600-metre-wide route corridor has been identified
- The final route of the pipeline will be determined as part of the subsequent planning approval process
- Project partners: OGE (50 %) / Nowega (50 %)
- Information on the pipeline available at www.get-h2-netz.de
For the Münster district government, there is no question about the need for the new 11 km hydrogen pipeline between Heek and Epe. On 22 September 2022, it issued its regional planning assessment which concludes that the project complies with regional planning requirements. The district government is thus sending a positive signal for energy security in the region. The Heek-Epe pipeline will later serve as a link between the planned RWE electrolyser in Lingen and the cavern storage facility in Epe, which is to be used for hydrogen in the future. The pipeline, electrolyser and storage facility are part of the GET H2 initiative, which aims to establish the core of a nationwide hydrogen infrastructure.
Regional planning procedure completed
The result of the procedure is the so-called regional planning assessment, which, among other things, defines a 600-metre-wide corridor. The final pipeline route within this corridor will be identified as part of the subsequent planning approval process (2023).
The potential impact of the project has been assessed on the basis of various factors relevant to regional planning. These include the project’s impact on nature, the environment and people, as well as existing regional and settlement structures. A total of three different route options were examined in a predefined area. Between March and August 2022, all towns, municipalities and public bodies involved were able to submit comments on the planning documents. A hearing in August 2022 provided the opportunity to discuss these comments with the Münster district government and the project developer OGE.
The regional planning assessment including the justification was published by the district government in its official gazette and will be available for inspection in all towns and districts concerned as well as online at www.bezreg-muenster.de for a period of five years.
The next step of the project will be the planning approval procedure (PFV), which will be all about planning and obtaining approval for the final pipeline route. In addition, compensation measures for temporary impacts to nature and the landscape will have to be determined. The proposed route is located within the identified corridor. All citizens, towns and municipalities and public bodies affected by the project will be involved in the approval process. Submission of the application documents to the Münster district government is currently scheduled for August 2023.
Further public participation will include so-called Dialogue Markets and landowners' meetings, where interested and affected citizens will have the opportunity to learn more about the project and the planning status. As part of the formal procedure there is also the possibility to submit written comments for discussion at a hearing. The planning approval process ends with the planning decision, which is currently expected by the end of 2024. The pipeline will then be built in 2025 and commissioned by the end of 2025.
Provision of Information to the public
In order to inform the public about the project and the further planning process, OGE has launched its own website (www.get-h2-netz.de)with a "News" section where people can register for a regular newsletter. There is also a contact email address (email@example.com), which can be used to submit questions directly to the project team.