Swiss Quality

14. June 2020

HINE: Now a Proud Member of the Swiss Gas and Water Association (SVGW)

Included in the climate protection goals of the European Union is the aim to reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by 80 to 95 percent by 2050. To meet this self-imposed and ambitious goal, greenhouse gas emissions should be 40 percent lower in 2030 than they were in 1990. In the coming years, we can assume that a substantial part of government funding and economic support measures will be invested in the promotion of sustainable and CO2-neutral technologies. What is more, the changes in European energy policy associated with this move towards a more sustainable, low greenhouse gas energy supply will not stop with Switzerland. In fact, in the field of gas supply, this will inevitably lead to an expansion of the capacity of two hot areas for investment: green hydrogen and biogas.

 

We support the Swiss gas network operators along their path into the hydrogen age

The transition to hydrogen will pose greater and greater challenges for Swiss gas network operators. In the near future, they will have to deal with not only the production of green hydrogen but its supply and its transport using the existing natural gas infrastructure. This, in turn, will lead to a variety of technical and regulatory issues needing our competent support.

HINE has experts with multiple years of experience dealing successfully with hydrogen. We have already managed a large number of hydrogen projects. We accompany projects throughout all their phases, starting with the conception and pre-planning, through engineering to project planning and commissioning. We have the expertise regarding the thermodynamic and fluid mechanical properties of hydrogen and are familiar with the regulatory framework in explosion protection. We bring engineering expertise with regard to material compatibility and are competent project managers who succeed in terms of maintaining quality, staying on schedule and within budget.

We are already looking forward to supporting our association members in projects in areas such as:

  • the decentralized production of green hydrogen
  • the safe supply of hydrogen or
  • the retrofitting of natural gas infrastructure to make it safe for hydrogen operation.

 

Biogas liquefaction opens up the possibility of bringing sustainable LNG onto the market

In addition to hydrogen, the production of biogas will also be expanded. The main constituent of both biogas and methane is natural gas. Greenhouse gas-neutral biogas can easily be fed into the existing gas infrastructure and distributed to the end customer. Another possibility is to liquefy the biogas at the point of production. This may be necessary if the generating plant is not connected to the gas network. Furthermore, biogas liquefaction opens up the possibility of offering sustainable liquefied natural gas (LNG) to the market.

The question of sustainable driving technology in the transport sector is not currently resolved, nor will it be for the foreseeable future. Several solutions are competing to win over the passenger car sector, such as bio-CNG (compressed natural gas), hydrogen and electrical. Although they can all make ecological and economic sense depending on the load profile, the situation is very different in heavy goods transport. In addition to the traditionally used diesel, there is only one other technically mature and economically competitive transport technology – namely, gas engines that are supplied with CNG or LNG. Although LNG reduces a vehicle’s CO2 emissions by up to 25 percent, it is still a fossil fuel and is not greenhouse gas-neutral. However, the addition of greenhouse gas-neutral biogas can improve the greenhouse gas balance of LNG. This is an important, and not insignificant, technological step towards a future in which our society’s climate protection goals are actually achieved.

Thanks to our experience in project support for the first two Swiss LNG filling stations and our in-depth knowledge of cryogenic gas liquefaction technology, we are the ideal partner for biogas liquefaction projects. We have the necessary expertise to plan, project and commission liquefaction plants. Here, too, we carry out risk assessments with all the needed know-how and we deal confidently with the ins and outs of national and international regulations for LNG.

 

Through our membership, we would like to make our own contribution to a sustainable future

Our membership in the Swiss Gas and Water Association (SVGW) is the next logical step for us to do our part in helping the gas network operators in the transition phase from fossil natural gas to sustainable, greenhouse gas-neutral hydrogen and biogas.

We are convinced that the tasks that lie ahead of us will contribute to achieving climate protection goals. Beyond these specific goals, the transition will strengthen Switzerland as a business location through its development and use of modern technologies, will enable Switzerland to produce its own gas and thus make it more independent in terms of its energy policy. If managed wisely, it will bring sustainable economic benefits to the Swiss society.

We think it’s great to be part of the SVGW during this exciting transition phase as we help shape its future.