Energy giant Total and French energy group Engie will build and operate France’s largest renewable hydrogen production site.
To be located at the heart of Total’s La Mède biorefinery in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues, south-east France, the 40MW electrolyser will produce five tonnes of green hydrogen per day to meet the needs of the biofuel production process, avoiding 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.
It will be powered by solar farms with a total capacity of more than 100MW.
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, Engie said in a statement.
Beyond this first phase, Engie said 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 (Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur South Region, Métropole Aix-Marseille-Provence, Capenergies competitiveness cluster).
Construction is expected to begin in 2022, following completion of the advanced engineering study, with a view to production in 2024, subject to necessary financial support and public authorisations.
Engie said the project has already applied for subsidies from AMI and IPCEI, Innovation Fund.
“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,” said Philippe Sauquet, President Gas, Renewables & Power at Total.
“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.”
Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet, Engie’s Executive Vice-President in charge of renewable energies, added, “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.”