Snam and RINA team up to accelerate the development of hydrogen

Source: press release, 8 April 2020

Snam – the first European company to successfully test the introduction of hydrogen blends into its gas transmission network with a percentage volume of up to 10% (photo: RINA)
Snam – the first European company to successfully test the introduction of hydrogen blends into its gas transmission network with a percentage volume of up to 10% (photo: RINA)

Snam, a worldwide energy infrastructure company, and RINA, a global testing, inspection, certification and engineering consultancy services firm, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to collaborate in the hydrogen sector, in order to realise the significant potential of hydrogen as a fundamental energy carrier in the fight against climate change and industrial decarbonisation.

The agreement was signed by Snam CEO Marco Alverà and RINA CEO Ugo Salerno.

The two companies have formed a joint working group to study and test the compatibility of industrial burners and other existing infrastructure already in operation with hydrogen. The group will also begin experiments, analysis and technology scouting in various areas involving hydrogen including production, storage and distribution.

Snam CEO Marco Alverà says, “This agreement will combine the skills of Snam and RINA to accelerate the introduction of hydrogen as a new clean energy carrier and give further impetus to create an Italian hydrogen value chain. The use of green hydrogen in existing infrastructure will play a key role in enabling the energy transition and achieving climate objectives, whilst also creating new opportunities for economic development, which are now more important than ever. Italy and its companies have the opportunity to pioneer this approach at an international level.”

RINA CEO Ugo Salerno says, “We are proud to collaborate with Snam to promote the sustainable progress of the energy sector. We believe that hydrogen is currently one of the best options for reducing carbon dioxide emissions. We are delighted to contribute our research and certification skills on hydrogen-compatible materials and our expertise in the field of analysis, studies and tests for storage to this partnership. This agreement demonstrates Snam and RINA’s joint commitment to the common goal of curbing global warming.”

Introducing hydrogen into energy networks represents the first step for spreading and developing green hydrogen from renewable sources, while reducing its costs. Green hydrogen generated by water electrolysis, a process that takes place without CO2 emissions, has the advantage of being able to use the existing capillary gas infrastructure. In 2019, Snam became the first European company to successfully test the introduction of hydrogen blends into its gas transmission network with a percentage volume of up to 10%.

RINA boasts specific and unique engineering skills in Italy to support industries in the transition to a wider use of hydrogen. Most notably, it co-owns the first laboratory in Italy (one of the very few in the world) with the University of Calabria, which is capable of performing tests at high pressures (up to 1000 bar) for the storage of gases including hydrogen.

According to a recent study (‘Hydrogen Challenge: The potential of hydrogen in Italy’) commissioned by Snam, hydrogen could cover almost a quarter (23%) of national energy demand by 2050 under a deep decarbonisation scenario.