Maire Tecnimont subsidiary NextChem has been assigned a €194 million grant for the development of a waste-to-hydrogen plant as part of the EU’s ‘IPCEI Hy2Use’ project. The project is to set up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of a national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonisation of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.

The grant will be disbursed during the construction phases of the plant. The next steps concern the start of project activities and all the necessary permits, in order to ensure the plant start-up in the first half of 2027, in compliance with the funding. In the initial phase a production of 1500 tons/year of hydrogen and 55 000 tons/year of ethanol is expected. The production of hydrogen will grow according to demand, up to 20 000 tons per year, proportionally reducing the volumes of ethanol. Using NextChem's proprietary technology, developed by its subsidiary MyRechemical, the plant will use 200 000 tons/year of non-recyclable solid waste as raw material, thus also contributing to optimising the waste treatment cycle in Rome through a conversion process significantly reducing total CO2 emissions.

The European project also includes a contribution of approximately €4 million for additional research and development activities in waste-to-hydrogen technology, involving scientific partners such as Enea, Fondazione Bruno Kessler and La Sapienza University of Rome.

The non-repayable IPCEI grant supports the activities carried out by the parties involved in the implementation of Important Projects of Common European Interest (IPCEI). The Fund, supported by the Italian ministry of Economic Development, will allow Maire Tecnimont Group’s industrial model to become a worldwide best practice model for the evaluation of waste and the production of hydrogen as well as other chemicals, while significantly reducing CO2 emissions.

Alessandro Bernini, CEO of Maire Tecnimont Group and of NextChem, commented: "This project, which is unique in the world, represents a milestone in the development of technologies combining circular economy and green chemistry. It enables us to act as pioneers in the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate industries, with a model that can be replicated in other countries".