Air Liquide will invest over €400m to develop its Normand’Hy electrolyser to deliver hydrogen to TotalEnergies’ refinery in Gonfreville and the Normandy industrial basin in support of decarbonisation efforts.
With a capacity of 200MW, the electrolyser will be operational in the second half of 2026, with 100MW, or 10,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year, dedicated to Total Energies. Air Liquide plans to sign long-term renewable power purchase agreements with low-carbon energy from the French power grid for the remaining 100MW.
Total Energies’ Normandy refining plant is its biggest platform in France. Comprised of a refinery and a petrochemical plant, the facility converts 12 million metric tonnes of crude oil into some 200 products, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, lubricating oils, and plastic pellets.
Between 2000 and 2010, Total Energies invested €1bn to make the facility more energy efficient and align its production with changing demand. The Air Liquide deal will now further reduce the site’s CO2 emissions by up to 15,000 tonnes a year.
Bernard Pinatel, President of Refining & Chemicals at TotalEnergies, said the partnership with Air Liquide marks a new stage in TotalEnergies’ ambition to decarbonise the hydrogen consumed by its refineries in Europe by 2030.
He added, “By powering the electrolyser with renewable electricity from solar and wind projects, TotalEnergies is leveraging its position as an integrated electricity player.”
Air Liquide Normand’Hy is believed to be the largest PEM electrolyser ever built. Based on proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolysis technology, it will integrate equipment produced in the framework of the joint venture between Air Liquide and Siemens Energy.
TotalEnergies will supply around 700 GWh/year of renewable and low carbon power to the Air Liquide electrolszer for half of its capacity, corresponding to its share of hydrogen.
Avoiding up to 250,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year, the electrolyser will be in the Port-Jérôme industrial zone in Normandy, France, and will be part of Air Liquide’s local hydrogen network.
TotalEnergies and Air Liquide have had a long-standing relationship when it comes to decarbonisation. Just earlier this year, the duo announced a project to develop a network of over 100 hydrogen stations for heavy-duty vehicles in Europe.
It is hoped the effort will help facilitate access to hydrogen and accelerate the development of its use for goods transportation across the continent.
Prior to that, in September 2021, the two companies also said they would collaborate on a large-scale carbon capture and storage (CCS) solution in the Normandy area, France.
To support both company’s aims to reduce carbon emissions, Air Liquide will use its Cryocap carbon capture technology to help reduce the carbon emitted by TotalEnergies’ hydrogen production unit.
The transportation and storage process will be handled by TotalEnergies through projects such as Norway’s Northern Lights and the Dutch Aramis CCS project.