Siemens-backed start-up to build €1.3bn low-carbon hydrogen and fertiliser plant in northern France


Leigh Collins

Siemens-backed pan-European start-up FertigHy will build its first low-carbon hydrogen and fertiliser plant in northern France, it announced today.


The €1.3bn ($1.4bn) factory in the Hauts-de-France region — which will be completed in 2030 after construction begins in 2027 — will use renewable and low-carbon electricity to produce H2, which will then be used to manufacture 500,000 tonnes of low-carbon nitrogen-based fertilisers a year, such as ammonia.


The development marks a slight reduction in ambition for FertigHy.


When the company was founded in June last year by a group of six European investors (see below), it said it would build a first plant in Spain that would produce more than one million tonnes of nitrogen-based fertilisers from 100% renewable electricity and green hydrogen — and that the Spanish facility would then be replicated across Europe.


But the company now says that “a second FertigHy factory is planned to be built in Spain and shall become operational soon after the French one”.


It added in a press release: “FertigHy will receive support from the French government to assist its kickstart operations in France.”


FertigHy CEO José Antonio de las Heras said that the “principle triggers” for selecting northern France was “a long-standing agricultural base and strong governmental support”.


FertigHy was launched to “pioneer the low-carbon transition of the European fertiliser industry… [and] produce affordable and low-carbon fertilisers for European farmers, answering directly to the recent challenges of the EU and global food security due to supply chain disruption and global uncertainties in natural gas supply”.


Its founding investors are: EU-funded EIT InnoEnergy, Germany’s Siemens Financial Services, Dutch brewer Heineken, Spanish renewables and green H2 developer RIC Energy, Italian engineer Maire and French agricultural group InVivo.


Hauts-de-France is the northernmost region of France, on the Belgian border, and includes Lille, and the ports of Calais and Dunkerque.


Source: Hydrogeninsight


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