Engie, Plug join consortium to build France's 1st green iron plant

Plug Power hydrogen delivery truck. Source: Plug Power Inc.

June 30 (Renewables Now) - French energy major Engie SA (EPA:ENGI) and US hydrogen technology company Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) have joined others to create an industrial consortium with the purpose of building the first green iron plant in France in a multi-billion-euro project.

EIT InnoEnergy, Engie New Ventures, Forvia, Groupe Idec Invest Innovation, Plug and Primetals Technologies jointly announced on Thursday the creation of a sustainable iron company called GravitHy.

The new firm plans to build, own and operate its first green iron plant in the area of Fos sur Mer in southern France. Relying on green and low-carbon hydrogen, GravitHy aims to produce 2 million tonnes of Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) per year for use either on-site as a feedstock for green steel or for global trade under the form of Hot-Briquetted Iron (HBI).

It is estimated that the project will mobilise EUR 2.2 billion (USD 2.3bn) worth of initial investment at commissioning and create more than 3,000 direct and indirect jobs for the region. Subject to receiving the required regulatory approvals, construction is planned to start in 2024, with commissioning scheduled to take place by 2027.

Within the consortium, EIT InnoEnergy will provide business acceleration services, Engie will offer its hydrogen and renewables know-how, electrolyser maker Plug will share its experience in integrated hydrogen projects, Groupe Idec will service the industrial site and Primetals Technologies will supply technology for green and low-carbon steel production. Forvia, in turn, will represent the off-take side of the value chain.

"The European Commission is working to establish a regulatory and financial framework conducive to the emergence of European value chains that will ensure European industrial leadership in this field. The GravitHy project is an important milestone and will contribute to our European goal of producing 10 million tonnes of clean hydrogen by 2030,” commented Thierry Breton, European Commissioner for Internal Market.

(EUR 1 = USD 1.052)

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