Created in 2012, Hydrogène de France is a developer of high-capacity (multi-megawatt) power plants that produce electricity from green or decarbonised hydrogen. Those projects are first-of-a-kind, allowing the Company to claim the status of “pioneer” in the field of hydrogen power. The Company designs, conducts the necessary studies, coordinates with the relevant stakeholders, organises and secures the project financing through dedicated companies, or "SPVs" (Special Purpose Vehicles). These plants are designed to supply electricity grid operators with non-intermittent, competitive, continuous or on-demand renewable electricity.
In order to respond to the challenges of the energy market, Hydrogène de France develops, through their dedicated SPVs, two types of power plants:
- Renewstable® plants (Power-to-Power solutions) combining renewable energy production, hydrogen production through electrolyzers, and large-scale hydrogen storage solutions with short-term battery storage, resulting in 24-hour non-intermittent electricity generation thanks to multi-megawatts fuel cells;
- HyPower® plants (Hydrogen-to-Power solutions), comprising multi-megawatts fuel cells, producing on demand electricity from a hydrogen pipeline or hydrogen production site.
With operations in France, Australia, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa, Hydrogène de France has plans to develop power plants in more than 20 countries in Europe and around the world.
With its projects currently under development, Hydrogène de France considers that it has validated the multi-megawatts fuel cell technologythrough the Cleargen (completed) and CEOG (ongoing) projects, described below. Multi-megawatts fuel cells are a key element of the Company strategy and projects, in the Cleargen (completed) and CEOG (ongoing) projects, described below, and will integrate it into the other projects under development and are integrated within the other projects in development which are to be built in the upcoming years.
Hydrogène de France's business model consists of participating in the formation of SPVs, developing the projects through SPVs; selling fuel cells to these SPVs and financing the same SPVs alongside third party investors. Thanks to these strategic objectives, the Company has set itself the goal of reaching €100 million in revenues with an EBITDA margin of around 35% by 2025.
CEOG, first Renewstable® power plant project, is the world largest project, under development for the storage of renewable energy using hydrogen to produce stable and competitive renewable electricity
Hydrogène de France is currently developing the CEOG (Centrale Electrique de l'Ouest Guyanais) project in French Guiana, the world's first multi-megawatt hydrogen power plant, producing renewable, stable and competitive electricity (50 GWh annual output). The CEOG plant, which is in the final stages of development, will provide continuous electricity, day and night, from renewable energy and two fuel cells of 1.5 MW each supplied by Hydrogène de France. This project demonstrates the technological, operational and economic relevance of Renewstable® plants, through advanced expertise, which is a prerequisite for the financing of the €130m investment, 80% of which is financed by non-recourse debt and 20% by equity provided by Meridiam, SARA and Hydrogène de France. It also attests to Hydrogène de France's capacity to garner support from leading industrial and financial players as well as public authorities, who play a key role in these large-scale projects.
In addition to the CEOG project currently in phase 3 (the last phase before construction, Hydrogène de France is pursuing the development of eleven other Renewstable® power plant projects, all currently in phase 1 (located in Mexico, Barbados, French Guiana, Cyprus, Australia, New Caledonia and Indonesia) representing an investment of more than €1.3 billion and over 80MW of fuel cells to be installed by 2025. The Company has also identified nearly 20 additional opportunities, representing nearly €2.5bn of investment, some of which could enter the development phase as early as 2021.
Cleargen; first HyPower® plant: a world first for the installation of a high-power fuel cell in a complex environment
Inaugurated in December 2019, Cleargen HyPower® plant is the world's first installation of a CE-certified high-capacity fuel cell on an industrial site. In the complex environment of the SARA refinery in Martinique, the installation (representing an investment of €10 million and led by a consortium as part of a research project partially financed by the European Union) produces electricity using hydrogen being a by-product of the refining process. Hydrogène de France oversaw all of the technical and financial aspects of this 1 MW fuel cell power plant.
Hydrogène de France intends to accompany the deployment of hydrogen infrastructure in parallel with the progressive decommissioning of traditional coal and gas power plants in Europe. The Company aims to deploy multi-megawatt electric power plants in six countries throughout Europe (France, Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Netherlands), and to install 100 to 200 MW of fuel cells by 2025 with a target of 1 to 3 projects per country and to reach an installed capacity of 4 GW by 2030.
A real industrial know-how in the development of high-capacity fuel cells for its projects
Having observed that there were no industrialised fuel cells adapted to the need of hydrogen-electricity, Hydrogène de France has chosen to harness the strategic technology of high-capacity fuel cells (greater than 1 MW), which form the heart of its hydrogen power plants, and has chosen PEM (Proton Exchange Membrane) technology. The Company has signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with Ballard Power System, a world leader in mobility fuel cells, to address the high-power stationary market. The Company is licensed to use this technology with a period of worldwide exclusivity until 2026.
In this context, Hydrogène de France has announced the construction of a multi-megawatts fuel cell manufacturing plant in the Nouvelle-Aquitaine region, in the Bordeaux metropolitan area. The factory, scheduled to be achieved in 2023, will have an annual production capacity of more than 100 MW, for a total investment of €20 million.
In addition to the requirements of projects being developed by the Company, Hydrogène de France also plans to produce high-powered fuel cells for other markets, including maritime industry and data centres, through strategic alliances with global leaders. The Company signed a memorandum of understanding with ABB Marine & Ports, the world leader in electric ship propulsion, to industrialise a multi-megawatts fuel cell for maritime use. In a similar vein, last March Hydrogène de France signed of a memorandum of understanding with Atos Group, global leader in digital transformation and the European leader in cybersecurity, cloud computing and high-performance computing. The two companies are working to set up the first “green” data centre, which is expected to be commissioned by 2023.