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H2CAST Etzel – Making energy transition work. | Detail

Conversion of caverns for hydrogen storage test operation carried out at H2CAST Etzel

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Equipment (winch), on the distribution site in question

News / Update Milestone
  • Further step taken to convert existing caverns for the use of hydrogen in Etzel
  • Leak tests will be carried out in the coming months
  • Storage of hydrogen for test operation planned for 2024


Further step towards the rededication of existing caverns for the utilisation of hydrogen in Etzel implemented

Following the successful completion of the first leak test with hydrogen (H2) to assess the condition of the caverns and the equipment in spring this year, the work to convert the two H2CAST Etzel caverns for hydrogen storage onwards was completed on schedule last week.

The work to install the well equipment, known as completion, was carried out under the supervision of experts from various disciplines and intensive measurements were taken on the boreholes. The completion work was authorised by the supervisory authority, the State Office for Mining, Energy and Geology (LBEG).

Further work schedule

In the coming weeks, further tests are to be carried out on the tightness of the well equipment, well head and the salt rock, including with hydrogen up to the maximum permissible pressure. If these tests are successful, the caverns will be filled with up to 80 tonnes of hydrogen for further investigations from the second half of 2024. An above-ground test facility will then enable gas storage operation with the work steps of compression, gas drying and purification, pressure regulation, quantity and quality measurement.

About H2CAST Etzel

The H2CAST Etzel project aims to demonstrate the feasibility of large-volume underground hydrogen storage and to prove the suitability of the salt caverns in Etzel for hydrogen storage. The operation of the hydrogen storage facility will be tested and will serve to establish a hydrogen industry in Germany and Europe. H2CAST stands for "H2CAvern Storage Transition", i.e. the conevertion of the existing large-volume caverns and technical facilities in Etzel for the future storage of hydrogen as a building block of a renewable and thus ecologically sustainable energy system.

The Etzel site is planned to be "H2-ready" by 2026. The results should serve as a "blueprint" for the conversion of caverns for future hydrogen storage in Germany.

The project is funded by the state of Lower Saxony and the Federal Ministry of Economics and Climate Protection (BMWK).

Further information is available here at www.h2cast.com.