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1709283600000 | IR Press Release

Paving the way for the energy transition: Construction begins on new pipeline for natural gas and hydrogen

Ground-breaking ceremony for South German Natural Gas Pipeline (SEL) with Energy Minister Thekla Walker. The Construction of approximately 250-kilometer pipeline begins in March 2024
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v.l.n.r.: EnBW-Vorstand Dirk Güsewell, Energieministerin Thekla Walker und terranets-bw-Geschäftsführerin Katrin Flinspach

Lauffen am Neckar. Baden-Württemberg Energy Minister Thekla Walker, together with Chairman of the Supervisory Board of terranets bw and Member of the EnBW Board of Management Dirk Güsewell, and Katrin Flinspach, Managing Director of the gas transmission network operator terranets bw, have broken ground for the South German Natural Gas Pipeline (Süddeutsche Erdgasleitung, or SEL). This marks the start of construction of the new 250-kilometer pipeline for natural gas and hydrogen, which will run from Hesse via Heidelberg, Heilbronn, Ludwigsburg, Esslingen am Neckar, Göppingen and Heidenheim to Bavaria. SEL will be the first hydrogen pipeline in Baden-Württemberg with a connection to European transport routes and will start transporting hydrogen in the early 2030s.

“Hydrogen is essential for the success of the energy transition – and also for the transformation and competitiveness of the economy in Baden-Württemberg,” emphasized Thekla Walker, Minister for the Environment, Climate and Energy in Baden-Württemberg. “It is now important to create the necessary infrastructure and drive forward the expansion of the grids. The Germany-wide core network is a first, essential step.”

Dirk Güsewell, Member of the Board of Management of EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of terranets bw: “We are investing in the expansion and transformation of the grid infrastructure because this is the backbone of the energy transition. SEL strengthens security of supply and is a genuine energy transition project that will support the customers of terranets bw in their decarbonization strategy.”

“In addition to electricity from renewable energy sources, carbon-neutral hydrogen will make an important contribution to security of supply and climate neutrality – in power plants for electricity generation, in industry, and also in the transportation sector and the heat energy market,” confirmed Katrin Flinspach, Managing Director of gas transmission network operator terranets bw. “SEL is part of the Germany-wide core hydrogen network and will be the central hydrogen supply artery in Baden-Württemberg once it switches to hydrogen in the early 2030s,” Flinspach added.

Construction of new pipeline for natural gas and hydrogen

terranets bw will build SEL in sections according to how demand actually develops. Construction and operating permits are already in place for almost 200 kilometers of SEL. The first, 24 km long section, from Heilbronn to the Ludwigsburg administrative district, will be built in 2024. A further section in the Karlsruhe governmental district is pending approval.

About the South German Natural Gas Pipeline (SEL)

Since taking over the planning of SEL from the previous project developer, Open Grid Europe (OGE, formerly E.ON Gastransport), terranets bw has kept authorities, associations, cities, local authorities and the public regularly informed about the current state of development. In accordance with the project’s progress, stakeholders are also closely consulted on the planning of SEL in advance of the approval process. Transparent and open communication with all involved is important to terranets bw, including during construction. Interested parties can check for updates at any time and sign up for a project newsletter on the project website, www.terranets-sel.de.

terranets bw drives the development of a high-capacity hydrogen network

In addition to the expansion of renewables, a sustainable energy supply also requires a high-capacity gas infrastructure – and significant use of green hydrogen. terranets bw plans all conversion and expansion projects to be H2-ready. The core hydrogen network will Germany’s first nationwide network of its kind, with a total length of almost 10,000 km by 2032. SEL is part of the core hydrogen network. terranets bw plans to gradually convert its entire gas transmission network in Baden-Württemberg and Hesse by 2040. The company transparently presents its plans and current conversion projects and identifies future hydrogen requirements on the website of its “H2 for BW” initiative, www.h2-fuer-bw.de. Together with network operators and hydrogen producers, the company is working to develop reliable transmission routes from hydrogen sources to where demand is concentrated in Baden-Württemberg.

About terranets bw GmbH

terranets bw is an independent transmission system operator for gas. With its approximately 2,750 km long high-pressure gas pipeline grid, terranets bw guarantees the non-discriminatory transmission of gas from Lower Saxony to Lake Constance. Approximately 300 employees work for the company in nine locations in Baden-Württemberg and Hessen.

Press contact

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Rebecca Penno
terranets bw
Head of Corporate Communication
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