Michelin JV to invest €1bn in French hydrogen project
Symbio's HyMotive to industrialise production of current-generation fuel cell systems, add new-gen products
Vénissieux, France – Symbio, a Michelin and Faurecia joint-venture for hydrogen fuel cell stacks systems is to invest €1 billion to help develop the hydrogen energy industry across France.
To be conducted in two phases by 2028, HyMotive will accelerate the industrialisation and mass-production of its current-generation fuel cell systems at the initial stage, said Symbio 6 Oct.
The first phase will see the completion of Symbio’s “gigafactory” under construction in Saint-Fons.
The plant, named SymphonHy, will be “one of the largest fuel cell system production sites in Europe,” with a total production capacity of 50,000 systems per year, said Symbio.
Production at the site is set to start kin the second quarter of 2023 – supporting customers, particularly French car maker Stellantis, which aims to produce up to 10,000 hydrogen vehicles by 2024.
The flagship site will also house the group’s headquarters, R&D centre, academy and a start-up incubator centred around zero-emission hydrogen solutions.
In the second phase, Hymotive will develop and industrialise a new generation of innovative fuel cell systems, built on "disruptive technology".
"The new generation cells will boost Symbio’s 'StackPack' performance while drastically reducing” unit cost, stated Symbio.
With the second-phase “gigafactory”, Symbio said its production capacity in France will reach 100,000 'StackPacks' per year by 2028.
Hymotive will create 1,000 additional jobs throughout the duration of the project.
Symbio said it was already securing the supply of green hydrogen in Saint-Fons through the signing of various agreements.
Initially, Elogen will manufacture a PEM electrolyser for on-site production of 1 tonne of low-carbon hydrogen per day by end 2023.
Longer term, the Compagnie Nationale du Rhône (CNR) and ENGIE are expected to supply Symbio with hydrogen coming from CNR’s Pierre-Bénite hydroelectric power plant.
In addition, the company said it had finalised the formation of the Innoplate joint venture project with Schaeffler for the mass production of bipolar plates (BPP).
BPP, said Symbio, is a strategic component of fuel cells, and Innoplate is set to start the manufacture of the product by early 2024 in Haguenau, France.