HSE and Clean Hydrogen Partnership Joint Undertaking – Signed contract on the co-funding of the NAHV project, involving EUR 25 million in EU grants. Press release


HSE, the lead partner in the NAHV project, on behalf of the entire consortium, including ECUBES, last week signed with the Clean Hydrogen Partnership Joint Undertaking, a contract on the co-funding of the NAHV project, involving EUR 25 million in grants. 


ECUBES press release regarding the NAHV project:

With the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley (NAHV) project, lead partner Holding Slovenske Elektrarne (HSE), ECUBES and the entire consortium of 38 partners and affiliates, drawn mostly from Slovenia, Croatia and the Autonomous Region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy are proud to position their macro-region firmly ON THE HYDROGEN FUTURE MAP!

Ljubljana, 24 July 2023 – HSE, the lead partner in the NAHV project, on behalf of the entire consortium, including ECUBES, last week signed with the Clean Hydrogen Partnership Joint Undertaking, a contract on the co-funding of the NAHV project, involving EUR 25 million in grants. This act served as the official green light for the implementation of this transnational European project as part of the Horizon Europe programme, which is aimed at establishing a dedicated hydrogen valley. The project will be implemented as of 1 September 2023, will last 72 months and will feature seventeen pilot projects across all three partner territories.

ECUBESas project partner will lead Work Package 6 “Cross Cutting and Cross Border Transport – Zero Emission Mobility Corridor North Adriatic” which aims to demonstrate the feasibility of building a renewable energy harvesting and hydrogen energy storage capability and to facilitate a cross-border transportation, which will lower CO2 emissions and contribute to energy sustainability in the EU. This study aims to path the way for a pilot project for a fleet of 1100 Hydrogen cars/vans, 150 hydrogen trucks, 150 hydrogen buses and 20 hydrogen passenger catamarans plus a fleet of 10 hydrogen airplanes. The Work Package will also seek to demonstrate that a strong deployment of flexibile solutions is required to provide the power system with the ability to adapt to the dynamics of the residual load, on all timescales: from frequency response to inter-year flexibility.

The partnership features a total of 38 organisations (27 partners and 11 affiliated entities): companies, universities, institutes and other public institutions the majority from the three territories: Slovenia, Croatia and the autonomous region of Friuli Venezia Giulia in Italy. The concept of the project encompasses the entire chain of the use of renewable hydrogen, from its production, storage and distribution to its end use in various sectors, mainly industry and land and maritime transport. The project received the highest evaluation of all Hydrogen projects presented for the call and was hailed by the European Commission as a Flagship Initiative

Industrial stakeholders from all three countries will develop pilot projects to produce more than 5,000 tonnes of renewable hydrogen per year from renewable energy sources and its storage, distribution and use. One of the most important objectives of the project is to create a renewable hydrogen market, both in terms of demand and supply, which would make it a competitive energy product of the future. By introducing advanced technologies for the utilisation of hydrogen and by developing know-how and infrastructure, the project also pursues other key objectives of the European Green Deal. In particular, it concerns the decarbonisation of major industrial sectors, such as steel and cement production, as well as sustainable transport solutions to reduce the carbon footprint. In this way, the NAHV project begins to create a comprehensive ecosystem for the transition to the use of renewable hydrogen, which includes production and service activities to meet the needs of households and citizens, thus creating the jobs of the future by planning the required skills and competencies.

Ringing endorsements of the North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley have come from all three territories involved:

 “In Croatia we have adopted the use of hydrogen in our plan for our energy future. Hydrogen will help overcome the energy issues in our sectors. We will be supporting with finances and legislations. Croatia is here to support and find solutions.” Ivo Milatic, State Secretary at the Ministry for Economy and Sustainable Development of Croatia.

“Our commitment is very tangible, … we have already guaranteed to finance such projects. I emphasise our commitment as the region to all the governments here to pursue this NAHV initiative until it will become a major hydrogen hub.” Sergio Emidio Bini, Regional Minister for Productive Activities and Tourism, FVG, Italy.

“Our joint EU targets of decarbonisation by mid century and reducing emissions by at least 55% by 2030 are extremely ambitious. One major priority is the move to renewable energy sources. Slovenia will help with efforts. I also hope that all new initiatives added to this NAHV project will be instrumental in achieving a carbon-neutral future.” Bojan Kumer, Minister of the Environment, Climate and Energy of Slovenia

Aleksander Gerbec, Director of Ecubes called the signing of the Grant Agreement:

“an historic moment and the culmination of years of preparatory works and collaboration between the three territories. This project shows that in Solvenia, Croatia and Friuli Venezia Giulia when we work together, we have the capability to make a real difference to the decarbonisation of every aspect of our daily lives and to make a positive change that can be an example for all of Europe. We are also aiming to inspire the next generation through educational programmes like H2STUDENT…Watch this space!

Stephen Taylor, North Adriatic Hydrogen Valley Joint Working Group Strategic Coordinator commented:

“This step formalises the continued evolution of a significant trans-national collaboration, built on trust, that will now transform into action and bring tangible benefits to the macro-region and beyond”

The project is supported by the Clean Hydrogen Partnership and its members