Air Liquide, TotalEnergies and VINCI have decided to join forces alongside other major international industrial players to create the world’s largest fund for the development of low-carbon hydrogen infrastructures. This initiative aims at accelerating the growth of the ecosystem by investing in large strategic projects.
Already €800 million (about $924 million) has been committed to the fund, out of a target of around €1.5 billion (about $1.73 billion) set at the time of signing. The fund will be used to invest in the whole of the renewable and low-carbon hydrogen value chain, both upstream and downstream. It will be exploited in the most promising regions of America, Asia and Europe.
Each of the three original partners: Air Liquide, TotalEnergies and VINCI Concessions have committed to invest €100 million (about $115 million) in the project. The fund will be managed by Hy24, a new joint venture equally owned by Ardian, one of the world’s leading private investments firms, and FiveT Hydrogen*, a management platform specialising in low-carbon hydrogen projects. Choosing this manager allows the fund to be merged with a similar initiative, joining Plug Power as lead partner and Chart Industries and Baker Hughes as joint partners.
LOTTE Chemical has also confirmed its aim to participate as a lead investor thus becoming the first Asian company to join the endeavour. The fund is also expected to attract further investment from major financial players, counting AXA as lead investor. Several major US and European industrial players that are strongly committed to carbon neutrality also intend to join the initiative as complementary partners, such as the ADP Group, Ballard, EDF, Schaeffler.
The fund will have a unique capacity to support large-scale projects under development and to accelerate scaling up. As the fund is to be backed by public policies and the use of debt financing it should enable the development of hydrogen projects for a total amount of approximately €15 billion (about $17.3 million).
*A fund managed by Pierre-Etienne Franc, an ex-Air Liquide employee
Article written by Laurent Meillaud and translated by Logan King.