Baker Hughes Tests World’s First Hydrogen Blend Turbine for Gas Networks

July 27, 2020 | Oil & Gas | Energy Facts Staff Writer | 2min

Baker Hughes and Snam announced they have successfully completed testing of the world’s first “hybrid” hydrogen turbine designed for a gas network. The test paves the way to implement adoption of hydrogen blended with natural gas in Snam’s current transmission network infrastructure.

The test took place at Baker Hughes’ facility in Florence, Italy with a Baker Hughes’ NovaLT12 gas turbine. The test marks the first time that a gas infrastructure operator such as Snam has tested this type of turbine for its existing assets. The turbine will be installed by 2021 at Snam’s compressor station of Istrana, in the province of Treviso, Italy. Once installed, the NovaLT12 will not only help to compress and move hydrogen fuel blends through Snam’s transmission network of pipelines, but the turbine will simultaneously use the same fuel to power itself.

Snam has the most extensive transmission network among European peers (over 41,000 km globally) and the largest natural gas storage capacity (ca. 20 billion cubic meters globally). 70% of Snam’s pipelines are already built with hydrogen-ready pipes to help contribute to the reduction of CO2 emissions in Italy. Today’s test further validates the viability of Snam’s infrastructure, including the NovaLT12, to support the transition to hydrogen.

By blending 10% hydrogen into the total annual gas capacity transported by Snam, it is estimated seven billion cubic meters of hydrogen could be introduced into the network each year. This amount is the equivalent to the annual gas consumption of three million families and represents a reduction of five million tons of CO2 emissions.

Snam is among the first companies in the world to have tested the introduction of hydrogen into a high-pressure gas transportation network, first at 5% and subsequently at 10%. The company is also committed to supporting the growth of the Italian supply chain through the development of technologies to facilitate the use of hydrogen in multiple sectors, from industry to transportation.