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HDF Energy

France launches world's first large-scale hydrogen fuel cell factory

HDF Energy (Hydrogen de France) announces the opening of the world's first factory dedicated to producing fuel cells exceeding one megawatt. This new industrial site focuses on decarbonizing heavy maritime and rail transportation, as well as generating electricity for public power grids. With 80% of its production aimed at international markets, the factory also boosts the local economy by creating jobs and contributing to Europe's reindustrialization and industrial sovereignty.

The factory was inaugurated on Thursday, May 30, in Blanquefort by Damien Havard, CEO and founder of HDF Energy, and Hanane El Hamraoui, deputy general director and industrial director. The event was attended by MP Pascale Boyer, president of the National Assembly's energy and hydrogen study group, Alain Rousset, president of the regional council of Nouvelle-Aquitaine, Christine Bost, president of Bordeaux Métropole, and Véronique Ferreira, mayor of Blanquefort.

Global expansion of hydrogen applications

Following its IPO in 2021, HDF Energy expanded its reach to approximately 30 countries. Supported by 150 experts and its new factory, HDF Energy is now equipped to introduce innovative hydrogen applications worldwide, including heavy maritime and rail mobility and electricity production for public grids. A significant 80% of the factory's fuel cells are destined for export.

Meeting global market needs with advanced technology

The Blanquefort plant will produce PEM (proton exchange membrane) fuel cells, already well-regarded for their efficiency, sustainability, and technological maturity in light mobility applications like cars and buses. These efficient, compact, and emission-free fuel cells are ideal for heavy mobility and electricity production.

Towards zero-emission heavy mobility and stable renewable energy

HDF Energy's fuel cells are set to revolutionize green transportation by replacing diesel engines in freight and shunting locomotives with hydrogen propulsion systems. They also provide innovative solutions for auxiliary power and boat propulsion, and clean electricity for docked ships. Additionally, these fuel cells are a key component of HDF Energy's Renewstable® hydrogen power plants, which generate non-intermittent renewable electricity day and night by storing photovoltaic or wind energy as hydrogen.

Ambitious project driving reindustrialization

Located on the site of the former Ford gearbox manufacturing plant in Blanquefort, the 7,000 m² factory is part of the larger "HDF Industry" project, a significant multi-year investment aimed at developing and industrializing multi-megawatt fuel cells. HDF Energy plans to launch successive R&D and industrialization programs to create product ranges from 1 to 10 MW. The factory will finalize its industrial process by summer 2024, start pre-series production and fuel cell testing in 2025, and begin full-scale industrial production in 2026, with a target of achieving an annual production capacity of 1 GW by 2030.

Supported by public funding

HDF Energy has received substantial public support, including financial assistance from the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region in 2018 to kickstart its fuel cell activities. Additionally, on May 28, 2024, the European Commission approved financing from the French State for the HDF Energy industrial project as part of the Hy2Move initiative under the Important Project of Common European Interest (IPCEI) for hydrogen, aimed at reindustrializing Europe.

Environmentally friendly facility

The factory's construction has been certified "very good" by BREEAM, an international standard for evaluating a building's environmental impact. This certification will extend to the factory's operational phase, focusing on energy management, water management, waste recovery, access to sustainable transport, and the health and well-being of occupants.


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