A hydrogen cooperation in sight between France and Morocco

hydrogen ammonia cooperation France Morocco
A hydrogen cooperation in sight between France and Morocco

A week ago, the French Minister of Economy travelled to Rabat for a Morocco-France business forum. The event provided an opportunity to establish cooperation in the field of green hydrogen.

As a prelude, Le Maire said that the two countries had “the same desire to decarbonise our economy, the same attachment to the agricultural vocation and the industrial vocation of our two nations”. He added: “Morocco and France are destined to be the great winners of the 21st century”.

In the field of hydrogen, the French minister announced a project between IRESEN ( the French Solar Energy and New Energies Research Institute) and the SATT accelerator in Paris-Saclay to develop applied research and innovation in carbon-free hydrogen on the basis of a cooperation between France and Morocco. With a grant of 800,000 euros (from the Agence Française de Développement and the French Treasury), a call for innovative projects dedicated to the low-carbon hydrogen sector will be launched in the second half of 2024. The aim of this call for projects is to select, support and develop, over a period of 3 years, 2 to 3 innovative initiatives of excellence led by French-Moroccan teams to contribute to the transition towards a carbon-free economy.

A 350 million loan to develop green ammonia

The other announcement is a financial one. The AFD (French Development Agency) will be releasing a €350 million loan to OCP (Office Chérifien des Phosphate) so that it can massively invest in hydrogen, decarbonisation and green investment. “This is a major effort by the AFD to support OCP and the development of green hydrogen in Morocco”, said Bruno Le Maire. This loan concerns the development of green hydrogen and ammonia, renewable energies and human capital training as part of OCP Group’s green investment program* covering the period 2023-2027.

OCP is a Moroccan industrial group and the world’s leading exporter of raw phosphate, phosphoric acid and phosphate fertilisers. It is looking to decarbonise its fertiliser production with green ammonia. To this end, it has signed an agreement with Fortescue, as well as with the start-up Hydrojeel, created by the InnovX branch of the Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P).

*This green programme includes an overall investment of 13 billion dollars to enable the Group to use 100% unconventional water by 2024 (to ensure complete autonomy, including a water desalination capacity of 560 million m3 per year by 2026), 100% clean energy by 2027 and to achieve total carbon neutrality by 2040 (Scopes 1 and 2 by 2030, and Scope 3 by 2040), while increasing the production of green fertilisers.

Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Mariem Ben Tili

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About the author

Laurent Meillaud

Laurent Meillaud

Freelance automotive journalist and consultant, author as well, focused on technologies and new trends for more than 30 years, convinced that hydrogen is one of the energies for the future.

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