France to get four electrolyzer gigafactories

McPhy, Genvia, Elogen, and John Cockerill, manufacturers of electrolyzers, will construct new gigafactories in France with the help of millions of euros in public money as part of a €2.1 billion ($2.05 billion) state-aid initiative to make France “the world leader in carbon-free hydrogen.”

According to Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, the funds would be divided among ten French hydrogen businesses, with a special emphasis on electrolysis and equipment for commercial fuel-cell trucks.

All four manufacturers of electrolyzers had previously stated their plans to construct gigafactories in the nation, but none had made a final investment decision (FIDs). After contracts for finance have been signed with the French public investment bank Bpifrance, these FIDs are now anticipated to be made soon.

Elogen, a manufacturer of PEM electrolyzers, has disclosed that it would receive €86 million in state aid, while McPhy, which makes high-pressure alkaline electrolyzers, claims it will receive €114 million.

Belgian-French multi-sector firm John Cockerill, which also makes pressurized alkaline electrolyzers, and Genvia, a joint venture between private enterprises and governmental agencies that wants to create a solid-oxide electrolyzer gigafactory by 2025, have yet to publicly comment on the investment.

The European Commission authorized the €2.1 billion in state aid in July after designating a total of 41 hydrogen projects around the EU as Important Projects of Common Interest as part of its so-called Hy2Tech initiative.

According to the prime minister, initiatives funded by the €2.1 billion will receive a total of €3.2 billion in private investment, adding up to the creation of roughly 5,200 direct employment.