An investment fund for natural hydrogen

investment fund natural hydrogen
An investment fund for natural hydrogen

Idrogenia, a consulting and investment company with shares in Terrensis*, is planning to launch an investment fund dedicated to natural hydrogen. This will be a first in France and Europe.

Idrogenia (ideas for hydrogen) is a young company set up by Groupe Mentor, a family holding company based in Nancy and founded in 1998 by Benoit Michaux ( France’s 169th wealthiest person). The group, with a capital of 500 million euros, is open about its ambitions in the hydrogen industry and plans to invest heavily in this sector over the next few years. Pierre Michaux, who became Chairman of the Group earlier this year, believes that “natural hydrogen will undoubtedly be the next energy revolution.” He was convinced of the potential of this energy by Christophe Hecker, Idrogenia’s Managing Director, who has a finance background and has been passionate about underground energy since 2014.

An investment in Terrensis

Halfway between a business incubator and a private equity player, Idrogenia carried out its first transaction by investing €1.5 million in Terrensis in March. Both companies are convinced that natural hydrogen is a clean and affordable natural resource, thus turning hydrogen from an energy carrier into a primary energy source. And Idrogenia intends to go even further. The aim is to open an investment fund dedicated to natural hydrogen, initiated and backed by Groupe Mentor initially to provide the impetus and then to bring together other investors.

A matter of sovereignty

“Most of the experts in natural hydrogen are French, and they are reputed around the world. We have real know-how that could give rise to a formidable French natural hydrogen industry, but it needs to be supported financially,” says Christophe Hecker. On an international level, competition around natural hydrogen is fierce, particularly in Australia and the United States. Idrogenia’s General Manager points out that the American company Koloma, backed in particular by Bill Gates (via the Breakthrough Ventures fund), has alone raised several hundred million dollars. “If we want to compete, we need to arm ourselves financially. It’s also a matter of energy sovereignty for France,” he concludes.

*The parent company of TBH2 Aquitaine, the first company to obtain a prospecting licence in France

To keep up with the latest hydrogen news, updates and events in Europe around the world check out our page here

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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