TotalEnergies and partners launch world’s largest hydrogen fund

French energy and LNG giant TotalEnergies and partners have launched what they say is the world’s largest fund exclusively dedicated to hydrogen infrastructure solutions.

TotalEnergies said in a statement it has teamed up with Air Liquide, Vinci, and other large international companies to create the fund.

The fund aims to reach 1.5 billion euros ($1.73 billion) and has already secured initial commitments of 800 million euros, according to the energy major.

Also, 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, it said.

TotalEnergies said the fund would 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 hydrogen projects.

Hy24

TotalEnergies, Air Liquide, and Vinci Concessions have been at the forefront of setting up and aggregating commitments to this fund, the statement said.

As anchor partners, each has pledged to invest 100 million euros ($115.8 million).

Hy24, a brand new 50/50 joint venture between Ardian, a private investment house and FiveT Hydrogen, a hydrogen enabling investment platform, will manage the fund.

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, TotalEnergies said.

In addition, 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, also intend to join the initiative as non-anchor partners, such as Groupe ADP, Ballard, EDF, and Schaeffler.

About $17.3 billion in investement

With solid industrial expertise and significant investment potential, the fund will have a unique capacity to unlock large scale projects under development and accelerate the scaling up of hydrogen markets, the statement said.

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 euros ($17.3 billion), it said.

Subject to Hy24’s French Market Authority (AMF) accreditation as an alternative investment fund manager (AIFM), the platform should go online in late 2021. TotalEnergies expects first closing before the end of the year.

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