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HDF Energy inaugurates world's first high-power hydrogen fuel cell factory in Blanquefort, France

Christian Fernsby |
HDF Energy (Hydrogène de France) announced the inauguration of the world's first plant to manufacture 1MW+ fuel cells.

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This industrial site is dedicated to the decarbonization of heavy maritime and rail mobility, as well as the production of electricity for public power grids.

With 80% of its production destined for export, the factory is also stimulating the local economy by creating jobs, thereby contributing to the reindustrialization and industrial sovereignty of Europe.

The plant was inaugurated on 30 May in Blanquefort (near Bordeaux, France) by Damien Havard, CEO and founder of HDF Energy, and Hanane El Hamraoui, Deputy CEO and VP Industry, in the presence of local public authorities.

HDF Energy's industrial site will produce fuel cells using PEM (proton exchange membrane) technology, which is already used in light mobility (cars and buses) worldwide: this technology is recognized for its efficiency, durability and technological maturity.

PEM fuel cells are powerful, compact and emission-free, making them ideally suited to heavy mobility and electricity generation.

HDF Energy's fuel cells are paving the way for a new era of environmentally friendly transport by replacing diesel engines in freight and shunting locomotives with a hydrogen propulsion system.

They also offer an innovative solution for auxiliary power and ship propulsion, as well as supplying clean electricity to ships at berth.

What's more, the fuel cell is the most strategic component of the Renewstable hydrogen power plants developed worldwide by HDF Energy.

The fuel cells in these plants produce non-intermittent renewable electricity, day and night, thanks to massive storage of photovoltaic or wind energy in the form of hydrogen.

HDF Energy has set up its 7,000 m² plant on the site of Ford's former gearbox manufacturing plant in Blanquefort, near Bordeaux (France).

HDF Energy's factory is part of the ‘HDF Industry' project, a wide-ranging investment plan over several years aimed at developing and industrializing multi-megawatt fuel cells.

To meet efficiency, durability and cost requirements, HDF Energy plans to launch successive R&D and industrialization programs for several product ranges from 1 to 10 MW.

From this summer, the plant will finalize its industrial process. In 2025, it will start the pre-production phase and the fuel cell test platform. Industrialization will begin in 2026, with the aim of producing 1 GW per year by 2030.

HDF Energy benefits from major public support. As early as 2018, the Nouvelle-Aquitaine Region provided financial support for the start-up of the company's fuel cell business.

On 28 May 2024, the European Commission approved the financing of HDF Energy's industrial project by the French government as part of the Hy2Move wave of IPCEI hydrogen financing (Important Project of Common European Interest), dedicated to the reindustrialization of Europe.

The criteria that will be monitored during operation of the plant are energy management, water management, waste recovery, access to sustainable transport and the health and well-being of occupants.


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The threat of heavy rain is expected to slowly diminish across southern Florida through the next couple of days as a low pressure center moves northeast off the southeastern U.S., pulling the axis of a trough of low pressure slightly off the coast of Florida early this morning.
 
 

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