Vinci, a global player in construction and energy businesses, said it has joined hands with TotalEnergies and Air Liquide, a world leader in gases, to launch the world’s largest clean hydrogen infrastructure fund at an investment of €1.5 billion ($1.73 billion).
The trio will be combining forces with other large international companies to sponsor the creation of the fund exclusively dedicated to clean hydrogen infrastructure solutions.
The fund aims to reach €1.5 billion ($1.73 billion) and has already secured initial commitments of €800 million for it.
Its objective is to accelerate the growth of the clean hydrogen ecosystem by investing in large strategic projects and leveraging the alliance of industrial and financial players, said the statement from Vinci.
The clean hydrogen infrastructure fund will invest in the entire value chain of renewable and low carbon hydrogen, in the most promising regions in the Americas, Asia and Europe.
It will invest as a partner, alongside other key project developers and/or industry players, in large upstream and downstream clean hydrogen projects, said the statement.
Air Liquide, TotalEnergies and Vinci Concessions have been at the forefront of setting up and aggregating commitments to this clean hydrogen infrastructure fund, it added.
As anchor partners, fully committed to low carbon and renewable hydrogen development, each has pledged to invest €100 million.
The fund will be managed by Hy241, a brand new 50/50 joint venture between Ardian, a world-leading private investment house and FiveT Hydrogen, a clean hydrogen enabling investment platform.
The choice of this fund manager allows to merge with their similar initiative and to add Plug Power as an anchor partner, as well as Chart Industries and Baker Hughes joining together.
Lotte Chemical has also confirmed its intention to participate as anchor investor, and is the first Asian company to join. The fund expects to attract further investments from large financial players, with AXA as anchor investor.
Large international industrial players from North America and Europe, which are strongly committed to carbon neutrality, also intend to join the initiative as non-anchor partners, such as Groupe ADP, Ballard, EDF, and Schaeffler, said the statement.
With solid industrial expertise and significant investment potential, the clean hydrogen infrastructure fund will have a unique capacity to unlock large scale projects under development and accelerate the scaling up of hydrogen markets.
With the announced support of public policies and some use of debt financing, the fund should be able to contribute to the development of hydrogen projects with a total value of about €15 billion, it added.
A global player in concessions, construction and energy, present in some 100 countries, Vinci is actively committed to Net Zero Emission by implementing an ambitious environmental policy.
Its mission is to design, finance, build and operate infrastructure and 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," remarked Xavier Huillard, Chairman and CEO of Vinci.
By launching this investment fund, hand in hand with other major industrial leaders, we keep moving forward to make green hydrogen a strong lever in achieving our objectives," he stated.
As a pioneer in hydrogen for over 50 years, Air Liquide is convinced that hydrogen is a cornerstone of the energy transition.
The group is providing its unique expertise along the entire value chain, using hydrogen as a clean energy carrier for industrial processes and clean mobility.
Air Liquide Chairman and CEO Benoît Potier said: "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. As Air Liquide, we have already committed to invest approximately 8 billion euros in the low-carbon hydrogen supply chain by 2035," he noted.
"Our objective is to contribute to the development of the entire value chain from low-carbon hydrogen production to end-uses, investing in the necessary infrastructure with storage and distribution projects. Accelerating on Hydrogen development is key to mitigate climate change," he added.
As a broad energy Company, TotalEnergies’ ambition is to get to net-zero emissions by 2050 together with society for its global business across its production and energy products used by its customers.
Chairman and CEO Patrick Pouyanné said: "We believe that clean, renewable hydrogen will play a key role in the energy transition, and TotalEnergies wants to be a pioneer in its mass production. We are currently working on several projects, notably to decarbonize the grey hydrogen used in our European refineries by 2030."
"We are convinced that a collective effort is needed to kick-start the hydrogen sector and take it to scale. We are thus proud to launch and invest in the Clean hydrogen infrastructure fund, which will also give us privileged insights in the sector," he noted.
According to him, the hydrogen economy is expected to be key in the fight against climate change.
Many countries have initiated hydrogen-related regulations and support schemes to enable clean hydrogen to help decarbonize their economies. Hydrogen offers a solution to decarbonize industrial processes and the mobility sector.