Global green and renewable hydrogen pioneer Lhyfe and AREC Occitanie, a regional energy and climate agency, have started construction on a new production plant in the south of France.
The plant in Bessières should be operational by the end of 2023 and will help the Occitanie region reach its goal of reducing carbon emissions from transportation.
It will be Lhyfe’s third production site, with the previous two located in Pays de la Loire and Brittany.
Lhyfe is funding 80 per cent of the project, while AREC Occitanie is funding the remaining 20 per cent.
Lhyfe aims to develop similar facilities across the UK and Europe to support net zero goals. The plant will be located in the Triangle business park in Bessières, 40 kilometres from Toulouse, on approximately 8,000 square metres of land.
Construction work has just begun, and commissioning is due in December 2023.
The Lhyfe Occitanie site will have the capacity to produce two tonnes of green and renewable hydrogen a day (equivalent to a generating capacity of 5 MW), with the possibility to ramp up production to meet the growing demand for hydrogen in the region.
Decarbonising goods and passenger transport, as well as industry, regionwide
The Occitanie H2 Corridor is a part of the North-South European hydrogen corridor initiative, which is designed to decarbonise passenger and goods transportation along an axis that extends from the Mediterranean to the North Sea.
The Lhyfe Occitanie plant will assist in the decarbonisation of these modes of transportation by supplying green and renewable hydrogen to trucks, coaches, and other fuel cell vehicles, particularly on the Albi-Toulouse route.
The Occitanie Region intends to have two renewable hydrogen production facilities by the end of 2024, producing a total of six tonnes of output per day, as well as seven hydrogen fuel stations that can supply between 600 and 1200 kg per day, 40 hydrogen-powered trucks, 62 refrigerated trailers/units, and 15 regional interurban buses retrofitted to run on hydrogen.
Lhyfe Occitanie could also supply the necessary refuelling stations that will be built in the region. Furthermore, due to its scalable production capacity, the plant will also fulfil the demand for green and renewable hydrogen in industries such as aeronautics, equipment manufacturing, logistics providers, and local authorities interested in decarbonising their mobility and/or processes.
Short supply chain concept will be explored
Lhyfe Occitanie supports a short supply chain concept by generating and consuming energy locally and can provide its hydrogen within a 200-kilometre radius.
Carole Delga, President of the Occitanie region, said: “Making green hydrogen one of the energies of the future in Occitanie is the choice we made in 2019 in adopting a dedicated plan. Today, one of the biggest challenges of the energy transition is heavy mobility.”
Cédric Maurel, Mayor of Bessières, said: “We are proud to be welcoming one of the first green and renewable hydrogen production sites in Occitanie and to be taking part in the energy transition of our region. This project shows that there are solutions to drastically cut our CO2 emissions.”
Christian Assaf, President of AREC, said: “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 today with Lhyfe, which will help to confirm our position as a leader in renewable hydrogen and accelerate the decarbonisation of heavy mobility.”
Maud Augeai, Head of Territorial Development France at Lhyfe, said: “Lhyfe Occitanie will be our first achievement in the South of France. We are fully focused on its realisation in order to deliver the first kilos of green and renewable hydrogen from the end of 2023, and enable the transportation of tonnes of goods and thousands of people in the region without emitting CO2.”