Ardian and FiveT Hydrogen have announced the beginning of Hy24, “the world’s largest investment platform focused exclusively on clean hydrogen infrastructure”. Hy24’s first fund is expected to have a volume of 1.5 billion euros.
The investment platform is being set up by Ardian and FiveT Hydrogen as a joint venture. According to a statement by the partners, “leading industrial and financial investors” have already committed funds of 800 million euros. This is more than half of the 1.5 billion euros targeted for the first fund. The industrial gas producer Air Liquide, the mineral oil company TotalEnergies and the construction company Vinci have all pledged their participation. All three French companies want to contribute 100 million euros each. Hy24 is the result of an initiative started by industrial champions: Air Liquide, TotalEnergies, VINCI Concessions, Plug Power, Baker Hughes and Chart Industries and joined by AXA.
Plug Power, Chart Industries Baker Hughes, Lotte Chemical and Axa are also named as investors, and Groupe ADP, Ballard, EDF and Schaeffler also want to join Hy24, with more names to be announced shortly. Hy24 aims to bring together more international institutional investors and industrial companies to “create investment opportunities for hydrogen projects around the world”. The organisation says its aim is to accelerate the growth of the clean hydrogen ecosystem by investing in large strategic projects and leveraging the alliance of industry and financial players.
Hy24’s first fund will be launched under Article 9 of the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) as a so-called impact fund with the goal of global CO2 reduction. The partners say their cooperation will extend proven technologies to mature infrastructure assets and offer investors access to a new asset class that has the potential to reach the same growth rate as other renewable energy sources.
The organisation has an international outlook, saying that the portfolio will be diversified across different regions – Europe, America and Asia – and value chains, from upstream projects such as the production of green hydrogen to downstream projects such as self-consumption fleets and refuelling stations. The partners point out the value creation opportunities in job creation and in the decarbonisation of ‘difficult-to-decarbonise’ sectors, which are generally known to be long-haul and heavy-duty transport, including shipping and aviation along with numerous industrial applications such as the production of steel, among other areas.
Joint venture partner Ardian is a private investment firm that focuses on investing in infrastructure. FiveT Hydrogen is an existing clean hydrogen investment platform that is expected to bring to the joint venture its existing experience and access to the hydrogen value chain.
According to Mathias Burghardt, head of Ardian Infrastructure, says: “At a time when the European Union has announced a step-up in its climate ambitions, and just ahead of COP26, it is a great responsibility to lead such a platform. We were early backers of the renewables market, our platform reaching 7.5GW of heat and renewable capacity today, and it is clear to us that hydrogen is facing a similar trajectory.”
Pierre-Etienne Franc, co-founder and CEO of FiveT Hydrogen revealed that the partners expect to mobilise 15 billion euros of investment through the partnership, which they expect will serve as a catalyst for the rapid expansion of the industry. He explained that the creation of the platform responds to the huge demand from governments, businesses and investors to invest in hydrogen to meet the world’s climate goals.
Indeed, there has been an explosion of activity in hydrogen activity and hydrogen strategies and corresponding transport initiatives have already been initiated in the EU as well as many European states as well as the UK, the US and China.
Hydrogen vehicles are also now being made by most of the world’s largest vehicle manufacturers in the vehicle size from delivery vans to heavy-duty vehicles as well as shipping and aviation. One of the first movers in fuel cell vehicles has been Hyundai, other first-movers that must also be mentioned are Hyzon Motors, and Hy24 member Ballard. In H2 aviation Airbus is making solid headway with hydrogen aircraft and infrastructure also collaboration with Hy24 members Air Liquide and Vinci.
In the current step for Hy24, a recruitment process is currently underway to establish a dedicated global team that is to operate across four countries: France, Switzerland, the US and Singapore.
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