A group of large international companies, including TotalEnergies, Air Liquide, and VINCI announced today the establishment of a new fund aimed at accelerating the growth of the clean hydrogen ecosystem by investing in large strategic projects.
With commitments of €800 million already secured, and a goal to reach €1.5 billion, the fund will be the largest dedicated exclusively to clean hydrogen infrastructure solutions, according to the companies. As anchor partners, TotalEnergies, Air Liquide and VINCI have each pledged investments of €100 million.
Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, given its ability to act both as a clean energy carrier and fuel, as well as a CO2-neutral feedstock for the production of green chemicals. Despite being the most abundant element in the universe, however, there are no pure hydrogen deposits on earth, and it must be extracted from other materials. The extraction process often creates pollutants and GHG emissions. Significant investments are required to develop clean extraction processes, such as green hydrogen, which uses a renewable energy-powered electrolysis process to extract hydrogen from water, or blue hydrogen, which converts natural gas into hydrogen and CO₂, which is then captured and permanently stored.
Patrick Pouyanné, Chairman and CEO of TotalEnergies, said:
“We believe that clean, renewable hydrogen will play a key role in the energy transition, and TotalEnergies wants to be a pioneer in its mass production. We are currently working on several projects, notably to decarbonize the grey hydrogen used in our European refineries by 2030. We are convinced that a collective effort is needed to kick-start the hydrogen sector and take it to scale. We are thus proud to launch and invest in the Clean hydrogen infrastructure fund, which will also give us privileged insights in the sector.”
According to the companies, the clean hydrogen infrastructure fund will invest in the entire value chain of renewable and low carbon hydrogen in the Americas, Asia, and Europe. Additionally, it will invest as a partner in large upstream and downstream clean energy projects alongside other project developers and industry players.
The companies stated that with the announced support of public policies and some use of debt financing, the fund should be able to contribute to the development of hydrogen projects with a total value of €15 billion euros.
Benoît Potier, Chairman and CEO of Air Liquide, said:
“Hydrogen has become a central element of the energy transition. The time to act is now, not only as companies on a stand-alone basis, but by joining forces with states, other industrial groups and the financial community. With the creation of this fund, we are demonstrating our leadership to participate in a collective dynamic to build momentum. As Air Liquide, we have already committed to invest approximately 8 billion euros in the low-carbon hydrogen supply chain by 2035. Our objective is to contribute to the development of the entire value chain from low-carbon hydrogen production to end-uses, investing in the necessary infrastructure with storage and distribution projects. Accelerating on Hydrogen development is key to mitigate climate change.”
The fund will be managed by Hy24, a newly launched joint venture between private investment house Ardian, and hydrogen enabling investment platform FiveT Hydrogen.
Other anchor partners and investors include Plug Power, Chart Industries, Baker Hughes, AXA and LOTTE Chemical. Societe Generale is acting as exclusive financial advisor in the creation and structuring of the fund, the gathering of the investor base as well as the selection of the investment team.
Xavier Huillard, Chairman and CEO of VINCI said:
“VINCI is taking concrete action to support the development of clean energy by mobilizing all its divisions in concessions, construction and energy, with the aim of actively combating climate change and decarbonizing mobility in particular. By launching this investment fund today, hand in hand with other major industrial leaders, we keep moving forward to make green hydrogen a strong lever in achieving our objectives”.