South of France aims to support transport decarbonisation

Nante-based energy specialist Lhyfe has started the construction of a green hydrogen site in the south of France, in partnership with AREC Occitanie.

The Lhyfe Occitanie project, in Bessières near Toulouse, is expected to have capacity to produce two tonnes of green hydrogen per day, with a generating capacity of 5MW, on an 8,000 square meters site.

The project is anticipated to be commissioned during December this year (2023), with potential for future capacity expansions.

Lhyfe claims that the new plant will assist the decarbonisation of trucks, coaches and other fuel cell vehicles, with potential for Lhyfe Occitanie to supply necessary refuelling stations in the future, within a 200km radius.

“Lhyfe Occitanie will be our first achievement in the south of France,” said Maud Augeai, head of Territorial Development France at Lhyfe.

“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 carbon dioxide,” Augeai added.

In March (2023), Lhyfe announced it had doubled its commercial pipeline of projects to 9.8GW of production capacity at the end of 2022, with 1MW of electrolysis capacity in operation.

It is also intended that the Lhyfe Occitanie project will support the goals of the Occitanie H2 Corridor, part of the North-South European Hydrogen corridor initiative, to decarbonise passenger and goods transportation along an axis extending from the Mediterranean to the North Sea.

Christian Assaf, president of AREC Occitanie, commented, “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.”

Cédric Maurel, Mayor of Bessières, added: “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.”

The Occitanie region hopes to see two renewable hydrogen production facilities by the end of 2024, producing six tonnes per day, with seven hydrogen refuelling stations.