US oilfield services company Baker Hughes and Italian energy infrastructure firm Snam have completed testing of a ‘hybrid’ hydrogen turbine designed for a gas network.

The turbine will allow transportation pipelines to carry hydrogen blended with natural gas.

The companies claim that the turbine is the ‘world’s first’ turbine of its kind. They noted that the test paves the path to implement the adoption of hydrogen combined with natural gas in the Italian firm’s transmission network infrastructure.

Baker Hughes chairman and CEO Lorenzo Simonelli said: “The completion of this test represents an important step in defining the energy of the future. The energy transition will increasingly need technology to be a critical enabler for success.

“Building on our strong foundation of industrial expertise, Baker Hughes is proud to work closely with our partners, including Snam to offer innovative technologies capable of burning up to 100% hydrogen with low to zero emissions, helping to lead the energy transition together.”

The new turbine ‘NovaLT12’ was entirely designed in Baker Hughes’ plants in Italy. It can be fuelled by a mix of natural gas and up to 10% of hydrogen.

NovaLT12 turbine will be installed by next year at Snam’s Istrana site in the Italian province of Treviso.

Snam CEO Marco Alverà said: “The infrastructure, as also highlighted in the Hydrogen Strategy recently presented by the European Commission, will be an enabling element in the development of clean hydrogen.

“Hydrogen will be a pillar of the fight against climate change alongside renewable electricity and will potentially reach 20%-25% of the global energy mix by 2050.

Nearly 70% of Snam’s natural gas grid has been already made up of ‘hydrogen ready’ pipes, thereby, contributing to CO₂ emissions reduction in Italy.

In February this year, Baker Hughes and artificial intelligence (AI) software provider launched an AI-based application that allows well operators to view real-time production data and more accurately predict future production.