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TotalEnergies and Air Liquide to develop low-carbon hydrogen production in the Normandy Industrial Basin

France-headed oil and gas major TotalEnergies SE (formerly Total SA) and compatriot industrial gas major Air Liquide are joining forces to decarbonize hydrogen production at TotalEnergies’ Normandy platform in France. This project will enable the supply to TotalEnergies by Air Liquide of low-carbon hydrogen by relying on Air Liquide's hydrogen network in Normandy and the implementation of a large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) capture and storage (CCS) solution.

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TotalEnergies Normandy platform in northwestern France is comprised of a refinery and a petrochemical plant and converts 12 million tonnes of crude oil into some 200 products, including gasoline, diesel, kerosene, lubricating oils, and plastic pellets. It is the company’s largest refining and petrochemical platform in France (photo courtesy TotalEnergies).

According to a statement, the project is in line with the objective of both companies to get to net-zero by 2050, and part of a sustainable development approach which will help develop a low-carbon hydrogen ecosystem in the Axe Seine / Normandy, progressively supported by technologies such as CCS and electrolysis.

Reducing carbon emissions

Under a long-term contract agreement, Air Liquide will take over and operate the 255 tonnes-per-day hydrogen production unit at the TotalEnergies platform in Normandy. Connecting the unit to Air Liquide’s hydrogen network will enable it to optimize its performance and, ultimately, develop the world’s first low-carbon hydrogen network.

The network already includes a hydrogen production facility in Port-Jérôme equipped with Air Liquide’s “Cryocap” carbon capture solution since 2015. Air Liquide is considering adding a large-scale unit to produce renewable hydrogen via electrolysis.

In addition, the companies will launch development studies to deploy a CCS project to decarbonize the hydrogen produced in this unit at the Normandy platform. Air Liquide would install its Cryocap process to capture CO2, while TotalEnergies handle transportation and storage of the captured CO2, notably through the Northern Lights (Norway) and Aramis (Netherlands) CCS projects being developed in the North Sea.

In the long term, the implementation of these projects would reduce the carbon emissions from the unit’s hydrogen production by approximately 650 000 tonnes of CO2 per year by 2030.

This planned investment at our Normandy platform will enhance its industrial competitiveness and secure its long-term future. We are delighted to partner with Air Liquide on low-carbon hydrogen projects so we can work together on reducing the carbon emissions from our industrial operations. These projects contribute to the collective effort launched in the Le Havre industrial zone and the Axe Seine. This is fully aligned with TotalEnergies’ ambition to get to net zero emissions by 2050, said Bernard Pinatel, President, Refining & Chemicals and Member of the Executive Committee of TotalEnergies.

Decarbonizing the Normandy Industrial Basin

This cooperation between Air Liquide and TotalEnergies is aligned with their shared ambition to help decarbonize industrial operations in the “Axe Seine/Normandy”. Along with other industrial companies, the partners signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in July 2021, to develop CCS infrastructure in Normandy with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions by up to 3 million tonnes per year by 2030.

Decarbonizing industry is a major challenge. The large range of solutions we have developed enables us to support our customers in their path towards energy transition. We have worked with TotalEnergies for many years, and are pleased to strengthen our partnership today with the deployment of solutions that will provide the Normandy industrial basin with a low-carbon hydrogen network in the years ahead. In line with our objective to reach carbon neutrality by 2050, Air Liquide is acting now to develop low-carbon and renewable hydrogen production and build a more sustainable future, said François Jackow, EVP and a Member of the Air Liquide Group’s Executive Committee supervising Europe Industries activities.

Under French law, the proposed transfer of the hydrogen production unit to Air Liquide is subject to the process for notifying and consulting employee representatives of the TotalEnergies Normandy platform, and to the approval from the relevant authorities.

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