Three French firms have created a fund with an initial commitment of €800m dedicated to the development of green hydrogen infrastructure.
Vinci Construction and gas suppliers Air Liquide and TotalEnergies will each commit €100m to the project, which will be managed by Hy241, a joint venture between French private equity firm Ardian and FiveT Hydrogen, a clean hydrogen investment platform.
South Korea’s Lotte Chemical will also join as an anchor partner, as will French insurer Axa, with Groupe ADP, Ballard, EDF and Schaeffler joining as non-anchor partners.
The plan is to amass €1.5bn, making the fund the largest of its kind. It is hoped that this money will attract more investment from public and private sources, leading to a total spend of €15bn on hydrogen projects in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
Xavier Huillard, Vinci’s chief executive, said: “Vinci is taking concrete action to support the development of clean energy by mobilising all its divisions in concessions, construction and energy, with the aim of actively combating climate change and decarbonising mobility in particular.
“By launching this investment fund today, hand-in-hand with other major industrial leaders, we keep moving forward to make green hydrogen a strong lever in achieving our objectives.”
Benoît Potier, Air Liquide’s chairman, added: “Hydrogen has become a central element of the energy transition. The time to act is now, not only as companies on a stand-alone basis, but by joining forces with states, other industrial groups and the financial community.
“With the creation of this fund, we are demonstrating our leadership to participate in a collective dynamic to build momentum.”
The fund will be subject to accreditation by the French Market Authority and is due to become operational in late 2021.
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