Jun 2020
Gas Distribution
HyTechnical – Literature, science review and subsequent revision technical standards for hydrogen pipelines
Jun 2020
Mar 2021
SGN, Cadent, Northern Gas Networks and Wales and West Utilities
Nancy Thomson
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Network Innovation Allowance
GD - Future of gas
Gas Distribution Networks and Gas Transmission Networks
move to decarbonisation in the UK has generated major interest in initiatives into the use of existing natural gas networks (pipelines and installations) for the transportation and distribution of hydrogen (H2) and natural gas/H2 mixtures.  The SGN Future of the LTS Phase 1 project identified the potential to repurpose the LTS network. In February 2020 SGN held an industry workshop with attendees from the GDNs, NGGT, HSE, BEIS and industry experts.  The aim of the workshop was to share and disseminate the knowledge from the first phase of the project, identify gaps and develop a roadmap for the future.  The main outcome from the workshop was to develop a common framework of needs to allow the projects to be developed to complete the gaps. Following the workshop, we established IGEM LTS Futures group. This group will ensure the research undertaken underpins the national standards and supports hydrogen implementation.  All the GDNs and NGGT are members of IGEM LTS Futures, which SGN chairs, and the work will be done collaboratively.


Following on from the Future of the LTS Phase 1 project, there is a requirement to undertake; material testing and analysis, desktop exercises to understand the impact hydrogen has on, (i) inspection, maintenance and repair (IMR) and (ii) repurposing pressure reduction installations (PRI) and closing gaps in the Quantified Risk Assessment (QRA).  The desktop exercise to understand the impact hydrogen has on IMR, PRI and QRA will be done in parallel of writing the standards to provide input to the standards and further guidance to the GDNs and NGGT.


The development of approved industry standards to formalise requirements and secure safe best practise is needed to ensure consistency in repurposing existing natural gas networks, construction of new assets, and to ensure compliance with legislation. The GB gas industry are driving forward towards live consumer trials in the medium terms. As such it is imperative that the GB industry have a suit of supportive standards that deliver consistency and confidence in the engineering practise deployed for such trial activity and future expansion of hydrogen for heat. This is therefore a high priority. Current projects which will benefit from the availability of approved standards include,  the SGN ‘Future of the LTS’ and H100 projects, the Cadent HyNet project which includes development in the WWU network, H21 and the National Grid HyNTS.


The standards which apply to the existing natural gas networks have been developed over many decades and are widely regarded having overseen significant improvements in asset delivery and management resulting in exemplary level of safety and reliability. These standards are published and managed by the Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM). Following on from the Future of the LTS Phase 1 project, there is a requirement to undertake an urgent literature-based research for the development of new supplements/documents to these IGEM current natural gas standards which will enable the repurposing of the existing assets and the design and construction of new assets for H2 and Natural Gas/H2 mixtures. The research and the creation of new supplements/documents can be prepared, approved and published more quickly than developing new standards and can be incorporated into the existing standards when they are next reviewed.
This NIA is directly focused on the future low carbon solutions for the gas industry which will support the government’s target of Net Zero by 2050 by creating technical standards which allow real engineering to be developed. This work is essential to provide, secure and sustainable long term customer benefits.
The objective of this project is focused directly at the enabling of a low / zero carbon gas network of the future  and enabling the safe transportation of hydrogen. It is essential the work is developed to provide, secure and sustainable long-term customer benefits.

It is critical that these standards are developed using the desktop exercises research undertaken and planned in the near term (eg. H21 Phase2) to support the change from natural gas to H2 and Natural Gas/H2 mixtures. Standards will need to be available for the application to the repurposing required for repurposing projects (e.g. SGN The Future of LTS).

They are also required to provide the requirements for the design, construction, testing, operation and maintenance of pipelines for the transmission and distribution of hydrogen and natural gas/hydrogen mixtures (Cadent HyNet & SGN H100). FEED studies for Cadent HyNet.