Atawey, designer and manufacturer of hydrogen (H2) solutions, announced a new partnership with energy and services group ENGIE Cofely, at the Hannover Messe trade fair at the end of April. The French partners collaborated with the intention of creating a H2 distribution network to link territories and provide locally-produced energy for H2 and electric-powered vehicles using renewable energy.

On the 9th May 2017, a contract was signed in Vannes initiating the supply of a H2 production and storage unit, a solution proposed by Atawey and its new partner ENGIE.

gasworld spoke to Atawey International Business Developer, Geoffroy Ville, to garner some insight into the partnership and Atawey’s future prospects.

How did ATAWEY come about?

The company was created in 2012 and designs and manufactures turnkey autonomous energy solutions for isolated sites. This is where the company gets its name: AnyTime AnyWhere Energy. Our teams use mature, tried and tested French technologies to offer innovative, reliable and sustainable products.

Approximately two years ago we decided to use our know-how and competencies to develop H2 refuelling stations (HRS) for mobility applications. Two years later, we have sold seven refuelling stations in France, a market which drives a major part of our turnover.

How important is it to create a H2 network?

This is key! We are starting to deploy stations and vehicles for captive fleets in France in order to initiate the first network of HRS. However, if we want to open H2 mobility up to everyone we need a strong infrastructure to ensure that people can easily access a station. This is why, at Atawey, we have developed recharging stations fit for a small fleet of vehicles that can be easily and rapidly deployed in different local authorities at a lower cost.

Have you worked with ENGIE Cofely before?

This is the first involvement we have had with Engie Cofely. We have complementary skills, Atawey is designing and manufacturing the station while Engie Cofely has the network and the abilities to operate and maintain our systems. Thanks to such synergies we are able to offer turnkey solutions to private and public customers.

We will be the first in France to install a small H2 recharging station with onsite H2 generation that will valorise renewable energy!

Has Atawey been working on any other projects recently?

Yes, we have! We have sold a unit to Arelis/Thomson Broadcast, to supply energy to an off-grid telecom antenna. We are also in the process of installing six HRS by September to feed fleets of H2 bicycles and vehicles in different parts of France. Our factory is currently 100% loaded. We have also been working heavily on our fund raising and have just raised €1.5m ($1.7) to help accelerate our progress.

How has the French government been pushing for H2 energy initiatives?

In September last year, a national call was initiated by the Ministry of the Environment to label H2 territories. This was a great success. The government was expecting 10 to 15 projects, however more than 100 projects were submitted by cities and regions. Atawey is part of some of the labelled projects which are now entering the operating phase. This gives us good business opportunities for the coming months and years.