Industrial gases giant Air Liquide announced today (8th March) that it will see its Air Liquide Normand’Hy large-scale renewable hydrogen production project supported by the French State, boosting the country’s potential for becoming Europe’s hydrogen hub.

Having applied to the Hydrogen Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) Hydrogen) programme, Air Liquide’s project has been allocated €190m by the French State – subject to a final validation by the European Commission. 

Planned to begin operations in 2025, the 200MW capacity electrolyser project will utilise Siemens Energy’s Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) technology to decarbonise typically hard-to-abate sectors such as industry and mobility. 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between Air Liquide and TotalEnergies aims to lead towards a Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) to help support the needs of the electrolyser. 

Concept art of the facility.

Concept art of the facility.

Source: Air Liquide.

Stating that the project will contribute to the creation of a competitive European hydrogen sector, Benoit Potier, Chairman, CEO, Air Liquide, added, “Air Liquide Normand’Hy is at the heart of a vast ecosystem whose ambition is to decarbonise the Normandy industrial basin.” 

“The creation of that ecosystem with our partners demonstrates the will and the capacity of industrial companies to bring concrete solutions to the fight against global warming.” 

In addition to being used as a fuel for industrial companies of the Normandy basin, hydrogen generated at the facility will also be provided for the development of low-carbon heavy-duty mobility on the Axe Seine. 

An MoU was also signed between Air Liquide and TotalEnergies for the use of renewable hydrogen on its Gonfreville refinery. 

A partnership established last year between Borealis, Esso S.A.F., TotalEnergies and Yara International ASA has sought to lower the Normandy region’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions through the development of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies. 

A wider initiative to be pursued by the company includes carbon neutrality by 2050.