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Germany and Norway are considering options to build a hydrogen pipeline to reduce their reliance on Russia for energy supplies in the wake of Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, reported Bloomberg News.
The move is said to be in response to a recent threat from Russia stating that it could consider closing the main Russia-Germany gas pipeline, if the Western governments cut energy supplies from the country.
As part of the plan, Germany and Norway will undertake a feasibility study on the proposed pipeline project, the countries said, following a meeting between German Economy Minister Robert Habeck, and Norwegian Prime Minister Jonas Gahr Store.
The pipeline will be designed to transport green hydrogen from Norway to Germany.
Germany and Norway were cited by the publication as saying, in a joint statement: “Over the coming months and years, it will be extremely important to speed up the development of alternative energy sources for Europe as substitutes for Russian gas and oil, and to develop the necessary infrastructure for this.”
Germany Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged to increase the gas and coal storage facilities in the country to reduce its potential supply disruptions from Russia.
The government is also supporting efforts to build new liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminals, purchasing LNG, and accelerating plans to expand renewables capacity.
In a separate announcement, Germany-based electric utility company E.ON has ceased purchasing new gas from European trading companies of Russia’s Gazprom, reported Reuters.
E.ON CEO Leonhard Birnbaum was cited by the news agency as saying, in the company’s annual press conference: “In view of the war in Ukraine, we have stopped procuring new amounts from these companies.”
Although the firm is not under long-term supply contracts directly with the Russian gas producers, it has been purchasing a small amount in its portfolio from Gazprom trading companies.
The German company, via its pension fund, owns a 15.5% stake in the Nord Stream 1 pipeline, which is majority owned by Gazprom.