New low-carbon hydrogen facility planned on Haropa Port land in France

Haropa Port and Verso Energy have signed an agreement for the installation of a plant to produce low-carbon hydrogen and synthetic fuels on Haropa Port land in Grand-Quevilly, France.

Courtesy of Haropa Port

Specifically, this production plant will be set up on an area of land belonging to Haropa Port/Rouen in the town of Grand-Quevilly at the administrative boundary with Petit-Couronne. It is projected to come on stream by 2029.

Dominique Ritz, Deputy CEO of Haropa Port, and Antoine Huard, CEO of Verso Energy, signed the site occupancy agreement at the local regional offices of Haropa Port/Rouen on November 22.

According to the parties, the project is slated to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis and will be capable of providing a capacity of 350 MW, corresponding to an annual volume of more than 50,000 tons of hydrogen, in return for an investment of around €500 million.

It is to be accompanied by a plant producing synthetic fuels using captured, recycled CO2, and creating some 150 direct and 250 indirect jobs.

The project is expected to help both secure and expand the local industrial ecosystem and according to the parties involved, it will contribute to decarbonizing industrial sites in the port area and the maritime and aviation sectors.

Stéphane Raison, CEO of Haropa Port, said that the project comes as a confirmation that the Seine Axis is a new-fuels, new-mobility valley, and Antoine Huard, CEO of Verso Energy, noted that the project is totally aligned with the national strategy for the development of hydrogen and sustainable fuels as essential vectors of industrial and transport decarbonization.

“Rouen is a particularly favorable location for a project of this kind, given the central position of its port industrial zone along the Seine Axis and its connections to the Trapil network for fuel delivery to end-consumers,” Huard declared.

Hervé Morin, Chair of Normandy Regional Authority, commented: “This project is absolutely a contribution to achieving the Regional Authority’s ambitions for the industrial development of Normandy and comes as one more in a long series of industrial investments on the Seine Axis, the favored location of the leading national port complex, which possesses extraordinary potential for becoming a region at the crossroads of global economic flows, making it a participant in the reindustrialization of our economy and at the same time a promoter of a more virtuous development model.”

To remind, in July 2023, Haropa Port awarded Engie 24 hectares (ha) of land for the development of a benchmark platform for alternative new industrial fuels embodied by the Salamandre and France KerEAUzen projects.

According to Engie, the two projects are set to contribute to the energy transition in France and to the decarbonization of heavy mobility in Europe, and the Haropa Port award is an essential step in the development of the projects as well as the low-carbon transition of the industrial port zone (ZIP).