Energy firms Total and Engie have agreed to build and operate France’s largest renewable hydrogen production site.
It will be located at the heart of Total’s La Mede biorefinery and powered by solar farms with a total capacity of more than 100 MW.
The 40 MW electrolyser will produce 5 tonnes of green hydrogen per day to meet the needs of the biofuel production process at the biorefinery.
This will negate 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year from the plant, at Chateauneuf-les-Martigues in south-east France.
An innovative management solution for the production and storage of hydrogen will be implemented to manage the intermittent production of solar electricity and the biorefinery’s need for continuous hydrogen supply.
New renewable farms may be developed by the partners for the electrolyser, which has the capacity to produce up to 15 tonnes of green hydrogen per day.
The Masshylia project has been labelled as innovative and of great interest to the region by several regional institutions.
The two partners aim to begin construction of the facilities in 2022, following the completion of the advanced engineering study, with a view to production in 2024.
The project has already applied for subsidies from the French and European authorities.
Philippe Sauquet, president gas, renewables and power at Total, said: “Innovation and sustainability are at the heart of this joint project.
“As demonstrated by our commitment to the European Clean Hydrogen Alliance, we believe in the future of renewable hydrogen, and we are working with our partner Engie to make it happen.
“This renewable hydrogen production facility, combined with our expertise in solar energy, is a further step in our commitment to get to net zero by 2050.
“The association of two leading French energy companies will make it possible to develop the hydrogen sector and become its leaders thanks to this joint, industrial and internationally reproducible project”.
Gwenaelle Avice-Huet, Engie’s EVP in charge of renewable energies, said: “The Masshylia project demonstrates the capacity of Engie to meet the challenges of the energy transition by developing innovative carbon neutral solutions.
“The partnership between Engie and Total, by its scale and its very ambitious integrated approach, embodies Engie’s renewable hydrogen development strategy to reduce our clients CO2 footprint.
“It also paves the way for a multi-usage renewable hydrogen hub in the near future, strongly rooted in the region and with an international outreach.”