Lhyfe and Nantes - Saint Nazaire Port, France’s fourth largest seaport, have reached a partnership agreement to develop the offshore renewable sector and thereby ramp up energy transition on the Loire Estuary.
H2 can draw on the strong momentum driven by the national strategy for the development of carbon-free H2 in France, and as will offshore wind power, this energy source will be called upon to play an increasingly important role in the French and European energy mix.
At the end of September in the Saint Nazaire dock basins, Lhyfe launched its Sealhyfe project to deliver the world’s first offshore renewable H2 production prototype, which will have a capacity of 1 MW and will be connected to a floating wind turbine.
Lhyfe already operates a renewable H2 production facility employing water electrolysis and is planning to set up similar onshore facilities throughout Europe. The company is considering the idea of developing and operating offshore renewable H2 production platforms on existing fixed structures or on fixed-position or floating foundations and is ramping up its research and development investments for the development of offshore renewable H2 production as close as possible to offshore energy sources. By 2030-2035, the offshore sector could represent additional installed capacity of the order of 3 GW for Lhyfe.
Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port is strongly committed on many fronts to energy transition in Greater Western France. The Port Authority is focusing on the energy sources of tomorrow and is studying the possible deployment scenarios for the H2 sector within its port ecosystem, with the ambition of making Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire the first major port facility for hydrogen on France’s Atlantic Seaboard.
Supported by their converging visions of the future, Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port and Lhyfe have naturally chosen to combine their efforts and areas of expertise to identify, to understand and to assess the conditions for the establishment of a supply chain associated with offshore H2 production.
This collaboration is intended to identify the port areas and facilities capable of accommodating R&D prototypes and being utilized to try out innovative solutions. The partnership also focusses on the identification of the industrial requirements involved in the construction of the equipment to be used to produce offshore H2 on a mass scale, and on the port infrastructures necessary for the production, launching and integration of those future items of equipment. Lastly, the two parties will deliberate together on how best to bring ashore the renewable H2 mass-produced at sea, to define the requisite industrial and logistical requirements for the reception and injection of the gas into the land-based network.
Matthieu Guesné, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Lhyfe said, "The development of offshore hydrogen production is the next major challenge awaiting us. Following the integration and inauguration of our Sealhyfe platform at the Saint Nazaire port facility, we are going to pursue our collaboration with this port facility, which possesses a great deal of related expertise, to accelerate the development of solutions that will make it possible to decarbonize mobility and industry on a massive scale, in all coastal regions."
Olivier Trétout, Chair of the Management Board of Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire Port said, "Over the course of several years now, energy transition has become a reality at the Port of Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire. We are confronted by climate and energy challenges that require us to speed up our actions and to rapidly identify new solutions. Green hydrogen is a sector of the future in which we have great faith, as do many of the Regional Community’s industrial and institutional players. The Port of Nantes ‒ Saint Nazaire has the credentials to be a major port facility for the accommodation of that sector of activity. The partnership agreed with Lhyfe constitutes an essential first stage in the process of identifying the requirements for the large-scale deployment of renewable hydrogen production."