Baker Hughes, global oil field service leader and Snam, Europe's largest gas transport group based in Italy, have successfully completed tests for a “hybrid” turbine, the Nova LT, that will allow transportation pipelines to carry hydrogen along with natural gas, the Italian gas company said on Monday.
The tests are highly significant as they could plausibly usher in game-changing technology that will assist the European Union in meeting its climate neutrality goals by 2050. The initiative follows the European Union’s Hydrogen Strategy launched on 8 July, which envisages the installation of at least 40 GW of renewable hydrogen by 2030 and ultimately climate neutrality by 2050.
The new turbine, which was entirely designed and produced in Baker Hughes’ plants in Italy and can be fuelled by a mix of natural gas and up to 10% of hydrogen, will be installed by next year at Snam’s Istrana site near Treviso in northern Italy. The project represents a new milestone for Italian infrastructure as it continues to adapt to transport hydrogen and reduce CO2 emissions: today 70% of Snam’s pipelines are already built with “hydrogen ready” pipes.
Chief Executive Marco Alverà said in a statement that the project marked a further step in efforts by Snam, Europe’s biggest gas transport group, to adapt its pipeline network for hydrogen transportation.
Designed by Baker Hughes, the NovaLT is the industry’s first family of high-performance gas turbines inherently designed for hydrogen as well as other lower-carbon fuels. The turbines are capable of burning methane gas and hydrogen blends from as little as 5% to as much as 100% hydrogen. Developed using state of the art high performance computational methods and manufacturing technologies, the NovaLT family of turbines is suitable for a variety of applications, including industrial cogeneration, pipeline, and offshore. Compared to other technologies in its class, the NovaLT provides lower consumption, wider operational flexibility, lower maintenance intervals, and emissions as low as single digit ppm.
Lorenzo Simonelli, Chairman & CEO at Baker Hughes, 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."