To mark the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the provision of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen to TotalEnergies’ Gonfreville refinery in Normandy, France, Air Liquide has unveiled a substantial investment exceeding €400m. This financial commitment is intended for the establishment of the Normand’Hy electrolyser, with a capacity of 200MW.

The collaboration between Air Liquide and TotalEnergies is a pivotal component of an overarching effort to nurture the growth of the renewable and low-carbon hydrogen sector along the Axe Seine. The primary goal of this endeavour is to play a significant role in reducing carbon emissions within the industrial landscape of the Normandy region.

Under the terms of this agreement, the Air Liquide Normand’Hy electrolyser is poised to provide TotalEnergies’ Gonfreville refinery with a consistent supply of renewable and low-carbon hydrogen equivalent to an electrolysis capacity of 100MW from the second half of 2026.

The remaining 100MW will be allocated to meet the needs of customers in the Normandy industrial basin and support the expansion of low-carbon mobility initiatives.

In order to sustain Air Liquide Normand’Hy’s operations, TotalEnergies will generate up to 100MW of renewable electricity, which will power the electrolyser. For the remaining electricity needs, Air Liquide intends to establish  long-term renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPA).

Air Liquide Normand’Hy stands as a groundbreaking achievement, marking the construction of the largest Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) electrolyser ever assembled. This facility, based on advanced PEM electrolysis technology, will incorporate equipment manufactured through the collaborative efforts of Air Liquide and Siemens Energy. Situated in the Port-Jérôme industrial zone in Normandy, France, it will seamlessly integrate into Air Liquide’s local hydrogen network, offering numerous environmental advantages.

Within the framework of the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) approved by the European Commission, the project has received support from the French government. As part of its ‘Plan de Relance’, the government has extended a substantial financial commitment of €190m.

In terms of environmental impact, Air Liquide Normand’Hy is expected to curtail CO2 emissions 250,000 tonnes annually.

Air Liquide executive committee member and executive vice president Pascal Vinet said: “Air Liquide Normand’Hy will contribute to the decarbonisation trajectory of our assets; it is also in line with our commitment to accompany the industry and mobility sectors in their path to reducing their carbon footprint.

“Our collaboration with TotalEnergies also strengthens hydrogen development in Normandy. Supported by the French State and the European Union, the Air Liquide Normand’Hy project confirms our commitment to develop renewable and low-carbon hydrogen production by electrolysis technology at industrial scale.”