Snam and Hera Explore Hydrogen to Decarbonise Emilia-Romagna, Italy

Among the solutions being explored is the potential of producing green hydrogen from a water treatment plant

Bologna Corticella water treatment plant that Snam & Hera are exploring to generate green hydrogen, Credit: Snam’s Instagram

Two Italian companies have joined hands to develop a range of hydrogen-based applications (including a hydrogen plant) which will offer a comprehensive decarbonization solution to the entire region of Emilia-Romagna. Snam, an energy infrastructure company and Hera, a multi-utility company distributing gas, energy, water and waste disposal services will collaborate to develop hydrogen-based technologies in their areas of operations.

The companies are exploring the potential of producing green hydrogen by processing excess electricity produced by renewable sources. The multi-utility treatment plant at Bologna, known as Bologna Corticella could possibly be used to create hydrogen by electrolysis of the purified water it produces. The by-products (oxygen, biogas and sludge) could then be returned to the water purification cycle. In addition to this, Snam and Hera have committed to study how hydrogen can be used to power energy-intensive sectors and broaden the scope of industrial electrification.

Marco Alverà, CEO of Snam, said: “The agreement with Hera is part of the collaboration we are starting with energy and industrial companies to develop hydrogen-related technologies and implement projects in different areas of the Italian territory. Hydrogen will be a decisive element, together with electricity from renewable sources, to enable Europe to become the first continent with net zero emissions by 2050.

Stefano Venier, CEO of the Hera Group, said: “With this partnership we wish to concretely contribute to the development of the hydrogen option to pursue the carbon neutrality of the territories, consistent with the commitment to sustainable development that has always guided our actions. Green gases, including hydrogen, are a particularly interesting frontier for us because we operate in several businesses. Signing this protocol is part of the strategy outlined in our 2024 Business Plan, which calls for numerous actions and investments for energy transition and environmental protection in line with European strategies and the objectives of the UN 2030 Agenda.”