Hydrogen, biomethane, CO2… By 2035, Teréga wants to accelerate the decarbonization of the South-West

Hydrogen, biomethane, CO2… By 2035, Teréga wants to accelerate the decarbonization of the South-West
Hydrogen, biomethane, CO2… By 2035, Teréga wants to accelerate the decarbonization of the South-West

In 2023, Téréga saw the volumes of gas distributed on its network drop by 1% for industrialists and by 7% for the rest of its customers. The manager explains this by above-average temperatures and the sobriety measures put in place since 2022. Gas flows from Spain to France increased slightly last year with 37.3 TWh imported (+6 %) against 14.4 TWh exported (-33%).

At the same time, auctions between operators to obtain storage volumes soared from 2.70 to 5.15 €/Mwh between 2022/2023 and 2023/2024. Teréga thus generated 175 million euros in revenue, including 5 million euros which will compensate for the increase in prices via the mechanism of the Charges and Products Regularization Account (CRCP). “Operators are interested in having gas in reserve because their medium-term projections indicate that the gap between storing gas and selling it will be greater.indicates Dominique Mockly, president and CEO of Teréga. Storage also makes it possible to put capacity on the network very quickly over periods that can be interesting for the market.»

Currently, Teréga’s storage facilities are being filled for next winter and have reached 56% of their capacities. “For the coming winter, we consider that if liquefied natural gas (LNG) is available as it should be, market tensions linked to supply and filling of storage will be quite low,” anticipates the group.

Invest in the post-natural gas world now

There is a strong trend of decline in natural gas consumption», Indicates Dominique Mockly. To anticipate this, Teréga uses the “Adjusted Territories” scenario, also used by GRDF. According to its forecasts, French gas consumption must increase from 398 to 235 TWh from 2023 to 2050. With less gas sold, an increase in prices is predictable for the consumer. It is in this context that Teréga indicates that it wants to “make efforts on [ses] traditional costs and the future of [ses] infrastructure”.

As part of its new transformation plan called Gaïa 2035, the group is planning 1.2 billion euros of investments for this purpose between 2024 and 2035. Currently, around 10% of these (172 million euros in 2023) are made from carbon-free energies, the ratio must increase to more than 50% in 2035.

Biomethane as an intermediate solution

While waiting for the start of hydrogen production in industrial quantities from the 2030s, Teréga is banking on biomethane to power its network. The group has ten injection sites connected for a capacity of 591 GWh per year, including BioBéarn, the largest in France, launched in early 2023 by TotalEnergies in Mourenx (Pyrénées-Atlantiques). Currently, 3.2% of gas in the Teréga network is of renewable origin, with a peak of 10.8% recorded last August.

Eight other connection contracts have been signed and the group plans 50 to 60 operational sites on its network in 2035 for an annual capacity of 1.5 TWh. “By 2050 in all scenarios, we are at 100% renewable gasassures Dominique Mockly. Production capacity in the South-West exceeds consumption [parce que] industrialization in the region is lower than elsewhere and temperatures are higher there.» To adapt its infrastructure, Teréga is also planning the commissioning of around ten counters, installations which allow the gas to be recompressed.

Significant potential for hydrogen in the South-West

Teréga highlights the relatively significant potential for hydrogen production in Occitanie and New Aquitaine. According to the call for expressions of interest that the group launched in 2023, 43 projects linked to hydrogen have been identified. Projections indicate that they could meet 58% of national production objectives, i.e. 6.5 GW in 2030 and 10 GW in 2035. “Today there is still a debate in France on the nature of hydrogen needs and the question of whether we should produce it locally or open up [aux importations]indicates the CEO of Teréga to L’Usine Nouvelle. France has also been heated over the notion of low-carbon hydrogen, particularly from nuclear electricity.” Internally, we would like the French strategy for hydrogen to be clarified with the transcription of European texts and the establishment of viable economic models before the end of 2026, to be able to meet the objectives linked to hydrogen in 2030 .

With a budget of 1.2 billion euros, the Hysow project must be the backbone of Teréga’s hydrogen strategy. It provides for 600 km of pipelines with a capacity of 16 TWh/year between Marseille and Bordeaux via Toulouse, the industrial zone of Lacq and the ports of Bayonne and Port-La-Nouvelle. At the same time, several studies have been launched for the conversion of existing gas pipelines to hydrogen. “All options are on the table and we do not have a standard solutionspecifies Dominique Mockly. For the Hysow project, for example, we arrive at a distribution of 30% existing pipes and 70% new ones.”

In the Mediterranean, Teréga with Enagas and GRTGaz are leading a hydrogen corridor project between France and Spain called BarMar. Preliminary engineering studies were announced at the start of the year and several routes remain possible for the pipeline. Port-la-Nouvelle and Marseille are mentioned, the choice will be made according to the infrastructures linked to hydrogen which will be programmed, but the Marseille city holds the rope for the moment.

CO2 capture and storage under study

Another important axis of Terega’s ten-year plan, the capture and storage of CO2 (CCUS) in the region represents 1.2 billion euros of investment. Teréga has 30 dedicated projects on site with a potential to capture 1 million tonnes of industrial CO2 per year, or 10% of the national objective. The potential is even 3 million tonnes if we count biogenic CO2, coming from natural or agricultural biomass.

The project called Pycasso includes the development of infrastructure and project support. Several studies are underway, one is being carried out by the Repsol group on existing infrastructure, another by the IFPen on seismic risks in the area and the last concerns the CO2 storage qualities of the geological basin. Its results will be communicated in September. A public consultation will then follow in 2025 before the commissioning of the first sites, hoped for by 2030.

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