Total and Engie to develop green hydrogen in France

Total and Engie have signed a cooperation agreement to design, develop, build and operate the Masshylia project, the largest renewable hydrogen production site in France in Châteauneuf-les-Martigues in the South Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region.
Total and Engie to develop green hydrogen in France
Courtesy of Engie

Total's biorefinery in La Mède incorporates a 40 MW electrolyser, powered by solar farms with a total capacity of more than 100 MW. The electrolyser will produce 5 tonnes of green hydrogen per day, meeting the needs of the production process of biofuels from the Total biorefinery in La Mède, and displacing 15,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per year.

An innovative management solution for the production and storage of hydrogen will be implemented to manage the intermittency of solar electricity production and the need for continuous supply of the biorefinery.

The project thus integrates the implementation of 5 innovations that foreshadow the decarbonisation solutions of Industry, unprecedented in Europe:

A digital control system for the continuous supply of hydrogen with real-time management of solar electricity production

Optimizing the integration of several photovoltaic farms supplying the electrolyzer to minimize energy losses and limit network congestion

Large-scale hydrogen storage to balance intermittent electricity production and continuous hydrogen consumption

A direct direct current connection between a photovoltaic farm and the electrolyser to improve the energy balance

Reinforced industrial safety thanks to the use of 3D digital models for each component of the installation

Beyond this first phase, new renewable farms could be developed by the partners for the electrolyser, which has the capacity to produce up to 15 tonnes of green hydrogen per day.

The two partners aim to start construction of the facilities in 2022, following the advanced engineering study, with a view to production in 2024, subject to the establishment of the necessary financial support and public authorizations. To this end, the project has already submitted grant applications to the French (AMI) and European (IPCEI, Innovation Fund) authorities.

“Innovation and sustainability are at the heart of this common project" said Philippe Sauquet, President Gas, Renewables & Power of Total. "As evidenced by our commitment to the European Alliance for Clean Hydrogen, we believe in the future of renewable hydrogen, and we are working with our partner Engie to make it a reality. This renewable hydrogen production facility, associated with our expertise in solar energy, is a new step in our commitment to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The association of two large French energy companies will make it possible to develop the hydrogen sector and become its leaders thanks to this common, industrial and reproducible project on an international scale".

Gwenaëlle Avice-Huet, Deputy Managing Director of Engie in charge of renewable energies, added that the Masshylia project demonstrates the company's ability to meet the challenges of the energy transition by developing innovative carbon-neutral solutions and that the partnership between Engie and Total embodies Engie's renewable hydrogen development strategy. It also paves the way for a multi-use renewable hydrogen 'hub' in the near future, strongly anchored in the region and with an international scope

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