SoluForce interview with Europoort Kringen

Waiting for the starting signal

Ready… set… Decentralized/regional hydrogen production is ready to start and when the 'go' sounds soon, we can start immediately. All the techniques are there, but first we have to overcome a few hurdles.

Text: Kim de Booij

“The biggest question is: who will own the decentralized network?” begins Robert-Jan Berg, managing director of SoluForce. SoluForce is the originator and technological leader of flexible high-pressure composite piping systems.

Berg continues: “Due to the existing situation, with central production and distribution of gas, a lot of attention is paid to Gasunie's backbone. Gasunie is the only regulated party in the Netherlands that is allowed to transport high-pressure gases (above 16 bar). But hydrogen can also be produced and distributed decentrally, and most efficiently under this high pressure. So the question then arises: who will install and manage these pipelines? People are working on that now.”

SoluForce is ready

Whatever the answer, SoluForce is ready. “Our non-metallic pipes have been proven suitable for hydrogen distribution under high and low pressure. Groningen Seaports approached us five years ago asking if we could design an innovative pipeline system for hydrogen distribution. Certification body Kiwa has tested our pipes for suitability. Our pipes already met all international requirements in terms of temperature and pressure, and now sufficient permeation tightness for hydrogen has also been determined.”

Robert-Jan Berg, Managing Director SoluForce
Robert-Jan Berg, Managing Director SoluForce
Kick-off duwaal SoluForce windmill 1

NEN standard in the making

This was sufficient for Groningen Seaport to get started. They submitted a 'regulation approval' which was approved by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (Infrastructuur en Waterstaat). Berg: “The next step is that all the knowledge gained will now be included in a NEN standard, so that it becomes clear and demonstrable for all parties what non-metallic hydrogen distribution pipes must comply with. We are working on that now. In the meantime, we can continue at project level, but with a NEN standard it is clear: our product complies, period.”

For high and low pressure

That certainty is also what customers find important. “The question regarding demonstrable suitability of our pipelines for hydrogen distribution is the most frequently asked. And also what pressure it can handle. We made our first hydrogen pipe for direct connection to an electrolyser, so for high pressure. But we are increasingly asked what is possible at lower pressures of up to 20 bar for use in decentralized hydrogen distribution. We have now created a 'light version' for this.”

Waiting for an owner…

Berg makes a comment on low-pressure hydrogen distribution. “It is of course not economically interesting if your electrolyser can produce at high pressure, for example 30 bar, and you have to reduce it to a low pressure of approximately 8-16 bar for transport. It is therefore important that high pressure is also made possible in decentralized distribution networks. As far as our pipes are concerned, that is possible. What is still lacking is regulation and ownership. Many potential developers are waiting for this.”

…and on subsidies

On this and on subsidies. “There are quite a few projects underway, but many are still in the subsidy application and financial closure phase. Without subsidies, green hydrogen is currently not yet profitable. The annoying thing is that it is a fragmented process with many parties, where everyone has to wait for each other. If a producer is still waiting for a subsidy for the realization of his production facility, we (and the contractor) cannot start yet.”

Project Duwaal

Fortunately, a lot is still happening. “Look at the Duwaal project, from Wind to Wheel: the hydrogen windmill in Wieringermeer. SoluForce is involved in this project and will install the pipes between the wind turbine and the gas station. We do this on several projects. But the real acceleration is yet to come.”

Bring it on

Before then, SoluForce hopes to reach as many decentralized hydrogen producers as possible. “In the traditional oil and gas industry in the Middle East, everyone knows our pipes. They are the standard there. So the switch to using these non-metallic pipes for hydrogen distribution is logical. In the Netherlands, steel pipes are still the standard, so people have yet to experience the benefits of our pipes. There are plenty of them, both at purchase and in Total Cost of Ownership and sustainability: significantly lower CO2 emissions during production, installation and use than steel pipes. So let the acceleration come. We can start tomorrow!”

More expensive, but cheaper

SoluForce's flexible composite pipes may be more expensive in terms of material than steel pipes, but they are still cheaper in terms of investment and TCO. It lies in the low installation costs (fast installation due to long, flexible pipe) and the minimal maintenance required (no corrosion or hydrogen embrittlement). In addition, due to its non-metallic character, it can handle pressure fluctuations and does not react with hydrogen, so that its purity is maintained.


SoluForce is the originator and leader in composite piping systems, traditionally intended for the oil and gas industry. In addition to hydrogen applications, the company also focuses on other forms of energy generation, including tidal energy. Their motto: 'Revolutionizing the way energy is transported'.

Contact us

Do you have questions? Contact us via contact form or chat! Our experts will get in touch with you as soon as possible

*  Mandatory fields

Your data will be treated as confidential. Your consent can be withdrawn at any time by sending an email to in which you clearly state that you wish to withdraw your consent. The lawfulness of the processing of your data prior to your withdrawal of consent remains unaffected. For all details regarding the storage, processing and deletion of data as well as your rights regarding the use of your personal data, please refer to our Privacy Policy.


Advanced flexible pipeline systems for oil, gas and water

Download Center
Did you not find what you are looking for?

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to the most common questions here: