French PACA Region aspires to become a Euro-Mediterranean Hydrogen Hub

PACA Region Euro-Mediterranean Hydrogen Hub
PACA Region aspires to become a Euro-Mediterranean Hydrogen Hub

The region hosting the Hyports conference, has a Hydrogen Plan and believes it has many assets. Over the period 2021-2027, €50 million will be allocated to developing the sector.

As Renaud Muselier, President of the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Region, points out, “the BarMar project places our Region in a central and strategic position on a Euro-Mediterranean scale”. Eventually, a hydrogen network linking the Marseille-Fos maritime industrial zone to the Lyon petrochemical zone and extending as far as northern Europe (Germany) via the Hyfen continental hydrogen pipeline, as well as massive hydrogen production in southern Europe (Spain, Portugal) via the future BarMar undersea gas pipeline linking Barcelona to Marseille.

The region has a number of assets, including the port of Marseille-Fos, with an industrial basin that harbours major consumers of hydrogen, such as the steel industry (GravitHy plant with an electrolyser of over 700 MW to enable the direct reduction of iron ore) and transport (H2V plant with an electrolyser of over 600 MW to decarbonise maritime and aviation fuels). Europe’s first high-pressure hydrogen station for long-distance trucks was also inaugurated in Fos-sur-Mer by Air Liquide in 2023.

The region also has salt cavities and a coastline that is favourable to the development of hydrogen-powered mobility (Cannes, Nice, Toulon). It promotes for example the start-up Hynova, which designs yachts and leisure boats with electro-hydrogen propulsion. Based in La Ciotat, the start-up is developing a partnership with Ephyra to design the first renewable hydrogen stations in the form of eco-responsible concessions.

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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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