Lhyfe & AREC Occitanie inaugurate France’s largest green and renewable hydrogen production site
- Occitanie H2 Corridor project and hydrogen mobility launched in the region
- From the first half of 2024, it will be possible in Occitanie to drive and power industrial processes cleanly, thanks to hydrogen produced locally from water and renewable energies
- AREC (the regional energy and climate agency) is supporting the construction of its second large-scale green hydrogen production site in Occitanie
- This site will already be the third production site Lhyfe has put in service – Lhyfe is thus accelerating its pace of expansion and significantly increasing its production capacity.
Bessières (France) – Lhyfe (EURONEXT: LHYFE), one of the world’s pioneers in the production of green and renewable hydrogen and AREC Occitanie (the regional energy and climate agency), are today inaugurating the Lhyfe Occitanie site in the presence of Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie Region. This green and renewable hydrogen production site is one of the Region’s levers for achieving its objectives under the Occitanie H2 Corridor project, aimed at decarbonising goods and passenger transport. The Lhyfe Occitanie production site is owned 80% by Lhyfe and 20% by AREC Occitanie. It will begin operating commercially in the first half of 2024.
Double kick-off for Lhyfe and the Occitanie Region
Two years after its first site in the Pays de la Loire region, Lhyfe is inaugurating two new production units this month, in Occitanie and Brittany, thus confirming its promise of large-scale industrial deployment (five other sites are already under construction or expansion across Europe). These two new sites – each with five times the production capacity of the historic site – meet the growing market demand for green and renewable hydrogen.
It is also an important week for the Occitanie Region, which is laying the first operational building blocks of its ambitious €150 million “Green Hydrogen” plan, announced in 2019. With the inauguration of Lhyfe Occitanie, the Region is launching the concrete deployment of the projects selected under the Occitanie H2 Corridor project.
Clean fuel produced locally, to supply the entire region
At the Triangle business park in Bessières, a few dozen kilometres from Toulouse, Lhyfe Occitanie will now produce up to two tonnes of green and renewable hydrogen per day (i.e. a production capacity from electrolysis of 5 MW), with the possibility of further ramping up production to keep pace with changing uses and needs. Two tonnes of hydrogen would enable a hydrogen truck to travel around 25,000 km, without emitting a single gram of CO2. With the equivalent quantity, a car could go around the earth five times, or travel around 200,000 km.
Lhyfe Occitanie hydrogen is produced through the electrolysis of water using renewable electricity. PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) contracts signed with renewable electricity producers (including VSB Energies Nouvelles and Kallista Energy) ensure the power supply.
The Lhyfe Occitanie production site is owned 80% by Lhyfe and 20% by AREC Occitanie.
The Occitanie Region is coordinating the Occitanie H2 Corridor project. The project’s co-financiers are the European Union (with a €14.6 million grant under the Transport part of the Connecting Europe Facility, known as CEF Transport Blending Facility or CEF TBF) and the European Investment Bank (through a €40 million loan contracted by the Region). It is in this context that the Lhyfe Occitanie project was selected at the end of 2021 by the Occitanie Region following a call for projects. Under the programme, Occitanie is providing €6 million, including €4.1 million as a repayable advance and €1.9 million in grants.
Getting decarbonisation underway for goods and passenger transport – and industry – region-wide
The Occitanie H2 Corridor is part of the North–South European hydrogen corridor project, which aims to decarbonise goods and passenger transport on an axis running between the Mediterranean and the North Sea.
In accordance with the aims of the Occitanie H2 Corridor project led by the Region of Occitanie, this site will help to decarbonise transport by supplying green and renewable hydrogen to trucks, coaches and other fuel cell vehicles.
The aim of the Region with the Occitanie H2 Corridor is to have two renewable hydrogen production facilities by the end of 2024, initially representing a total six tonnes of output a day, eight hydrogen fuel stations (delivering 600 to 1 200 kg per day), 40 hydrogen-powered trucks, 62 refrigerated trailers/units and 15 regional interurban buses retrofit to run on hydrogen which will be delivered in the first half of 2024.
Lhyfe Occitanie could also deliver the other refuelling stations that will be built in the region. In addition, thanks to its scalable production capacity, this site will also meet the green and renewable hydrogen needs of industry (e.g. aeronautics and equipment manufacturing), transport/logistics providers and local authorities in the area wishing to rapidly decarbonise their mobility and/or processes.
Lhyfe’s “semi-centralised” model, which consists in producing locally and delivering throughout the region, means that all players can now have direct access to green and renewable hydrogen for their uses whether they need quantities that do not justify the construction of a site of their own, or want to trial using green and renewable hydrogen before considering a site of their own.
Lhyfe unveils its new compact, modular industrial production format
In 2021, in the very beginning of the green and renewable hydrogen industry, the Lhyfe Pays de la Loire production unit was designed as a showcase for this pioneering technology. In Bessières, Lhyfe is today unveiling its new “containerised” format, which has the dual advantage of reducing the footprint of its sites, and promoting their scalability to support the development of uses in the regions.
Lhyfe Occitanie – which occupies a site of around 8,000 sq. metres – comprises a series of containerised buildings devoted to various functions (driver reception, control room, electrical conversion, water electrolysis, compression, quality control, etc.), a truck circulation area and loading bays for trucks transporting hydrogen to distribution stations and various customers.
To encourage mobility players to switch to hydrogen, in 2022 Lhyfe launched the Lhyfe Heroes digital platform, which includes all the necessary information for this transition, such as a simulator to assess needs and estimate the kilos of CO2 avoided, a catalogue listing hydrogen players, and an Ecosystems module to identify hydrogen pioneers nearby for the launch of joint projects. Lhyfe Heroes has been offering local players in Occitanie a first Group Buy Offer, facilitating access to a selection of seven hydrogen-powered vehicles from Stellantis and GCK Mobility, including coaches, dump trucks, refuse collection vehicles and light commercial vehicles.
Carole Delga, President, Region of Occitanie: The Occitanie Region was a visionary, identifying early on the potential of green hydrogen in the decarbonisation of energy and the development of renewable energies.
As a pioneer, in 2019, it adopted a €150 million Green Hydrogen Plan, the first of such on a regional scale. And the results are there to see – this week we are inaugurating two mass production sites for hydrogen. I am proud that this project is being developed here in Occitanie and that Lhyfe is contributing to decarbonisation at the heart of our communities. Green hydrogen alone will not win the battle against global warming. But thanks to our efforts and our status as a pilot region, it will become one of the pillars of the energy mix that we have been building for almost ten years in Occitanie, alongside other energies of the future such as floating wind power. Our country has everything it takes to become the world leader in carbon-free hydrogen. Occitanie is ready to play its part, and the State must be too.
Christian Assaf, President, AREC: “Occitanie has a head start on hydrogen. We know it and want to drive this potential by involving all communities and local enterprises in the regional dynamic. That is what we are doing everyday at the Regional Energy and Climate Agency and today with Lhyfe Occitanie which will help to confirm our position as a leader in green hydrogen and to accelerate the decarbonisation of heavy mobility.”
Cédric Maurel, Mayor of Bessières: “We are delighted at the end of this year to be inaugurating, as planned eight months ago, the largest green and renewable hydrogen production site in Occitanie. Our community will play a central role in the energy transition of the entire region.”
Richard Ferrer, Head of Alternative Fuels at the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA): The H2 Corridor project is receiving €14.5 million in financial support from the European Union via the Connecting Europe Facility (CEF), because it meets the pressing need to ensure sustainable mobility, as underlined again a few days ago at the “COP Occitanie” conference. The construction of this hydrogen production unit in Bessières is a very concrete example of how public and private players at local level can contribute more generally to the creation of a low-carbon European transport network, and to the objectives of the European Green Deal”.
Ambroise Fayolle, Vice-President of the European Investment Bank: “ The opening of Lhyfe’s green hydrogen production site in Occitanie marks a decisive step in the development of the H2 Corridor, which the EIB is supporting via a loan from the region. As Europe’s Climate Bank, the European Union’s public bank is fully fulfilling its vocation by supporting this project, which is located at the heart of the regions. It will contribute to the decarbonisation of means of transport that are essential to the movement of goods and the mobility of people, thereby helping to bring about energy transition, of which Europe is today at the leading edge”.
Matthieu Guesné, Founder and CEO of Lhyfe: “We are there! Our third site – our first in the South of France – is ready to start operating. The hydrogen we are going to produce in Bessières will enable us to transport tonnes of goods and thousands of people in the region, without emitting CO2. We’re very proud to be part of this ambitious initiative by the Occitanie region, which was one of the first to recognise the potential of hydrogen. Alongside the H2 Corridor project, we will now be working one by one with the region’s many mobility and industry players who want to make the switch to hydrogen!
Lhyfe is a European group devoted to energy transition, and a producer and supplier of green and renewable hydrogen. Its production sites and portfolio of projects intend to provide access to green and renewable hydrogen in industrial quantities, and enable the creation of a virtuous energy model capable of decarbonising entire sectors of industry and transport.
In 2021, Lhyfe inaugurated the first industrial-scale green hydrogen production plant in the world to be interconnected with a wind farm. In 2022, Lhyfe inaugurated the first offshore green hydrogen production pilot platform in the world. Lhyfe currently has seven sites under construction or expansion throughout Europe.
Lhyfe is represented in 12 European countries and had 192 staff at the end of June 2023. The company is listed on the Euronext market in Paris (ISIN: FR0014009YQ1 – LHYFE). Lhyfe.com
About AREC Occitanie
The Regional Energy and Climate Agency (AREC) develops solutions to encourage communities and businesses in Occitanie to take action and make Occitanie the first positive energy region by 2050. The agency is a tool for the Occitanie Region to support the implementation of public policy and region-wide projects aimed at building active resilience to climate change. Through its expertise and thanks to its engineering and investment capacities, AREC supports the various regional players – from local authorities to businesses, project leaders and citizens – from the emergence to the realization of their project. To achieve this, it offers a comprehensive range of services to help massively develop renewable energies, while investing in innovative projects and sectors, such as hydrogen.
About the Occitanie Region and the Occitanie H2 Corridor
The Occitanie Region is the first French region engaged in decarbonising heavy mobility.
Under its Green Hydrogen Plan, the Occitanie Region launched the H2 Corridor project with support from the European Investment Bank (for a total of €40 million) and the European Commission (for a total of €14.6 million). Representing an overall investment budget of €110 million, the aim is to bring about a switch from fossil fuels to renewable hydrogen for EU goods transport, in particular goods transiting through Europe on the North–South axis of the Trans-European Transport Network (TEN-T) linking the North Sea to the Mediterranean Sea.