Green hydrogen specialist Lhyfe and major French harbour Nantes-St Nazaire have reached a partnership agreement to develop the offshore renewable sector. The deal could ramp-up energy transition on the Loire estuary and beyond with new technology for large-scale green hydrogen production facilities.

Lhfye launched Sealhyfe, the world’s first offshore renewable hydrogen production pilot, in the Saint Nazaire dock basins at the end of September. Sealhyfe will have a capacity of 1 MW and will be connected to a floating wind turbine. Lhyfe already operates a renewable hydrogen production facility employing water electrolysis and plans similar onshore facilities across Europe.

The France-based multinational is also considering developing fixed or floating offshore renewable hydrogen production platforms. It is ramping up research and development investments as close as possible to energy sources at sea.

By 2030-2035, the offshore sector could represent additional installed capacity of the order of 3 GW for Lhyfe. Nantes – Saint Nazaire port, France’s fourth largest seaport, is strongly committed to energy transition. The Port Authority is studying possible deployment scenarios for the hydrogen sector. It aims to make Nantes – Saint Nazaire the first major port facility for hydrogen on France’s Atlantic Seaboard.

Under the deal, Nantes – Saint Nazaire Port and Lhyfe will combine their efforts and expertise to explore the establishment of an offshore hydrogen production supply chain. The collaboration also aims to identify port areas and facilities capable of accommodating R&D prototypes, as well as the industrial requirements for the construction of equipment and supporting infrastructure needed for large-scale offshore hydrogen production. The companies will also study how best to bring the renewable gas ashore and integrate it into the land-based network.

Image: The launch of Sealhyfe, the world’s first offshore renewable hydrogen production pilot, at Saint-Nazaire dock in France (courtesy of Lhfye)