Axpo joins hydrogen transport project in France

07.03.2024 - Axpo is investing in a hydrogen production and distribution initiative to power the transportation sector in France’s Arve Valley, in Haute-Savoie, it was announced today. The “Arve Hydrogène Mobilité” project (Arv’Hy) will see hydrogen-powered vehicles filling up at an H2 service station from the first quarter of 2025. The project is supported by a number of partners, including Atawey, a pioneer in the development of H2 filling stations, and Jean Lain Mobilités, a major distributor of vehicles in the French Alps, including hydrogen-fuelled cars.

The Arv'Hy project aims to play an active role in decarbonising the Arve Valley between Geneva and Chamonix. This will be achieved through the development of a comprehensive and innovative hydrogen ecosystem. Industry and regional authorities are strongly committed to the energy transition and protection of the environment. Axpo’s Head of Hydrogen, Guy Bühler, said: "We’re delighted to be joining this exciting project, our first in France, which is responding to an emerging market for green hydrogen. Working with our new partners, we’ll be contributing our extensive hydrogen know-how and expertise, especially in energy management systems that optimise the efficient production of hydrogen from electrolysers. This is another step forward in Axpo’s ongoing commitment to building a hydrogen economy in Switzerland and Europe.”

Collaboration between local partners

The project marks the start of an ambitious collaboration between five key local partners. Atawey brings its technology and industry know-how. Axpo will secure the volumes of renewable energy essential to hydrogen production. Jean Lain Mobilités will provide its expertise in hydrogen transportation. LSBN, a family holding company with various service companies will provide a suitable site for the project and local expertise in services. The Crédit Agricole des Savoie bank will provide financial expertise, while the project will also draw on hydrogen developer Eneralys for project management assistance and its experience in green hydrogen sites and transportation ecosystems.

First hydrogen-powered vehicles from 2025

The hydrogen filling station will be constructed in the Haute-Savoie commune of Vougy. Electrolyser capacity of up to 5 MW will gradually be installed between now and 2030 to meet the growing demands of carbon-free transportation in the region. The first hydrogen-powered vehicles will be able to fill up at an H2 service station from the first quarter of 2025. 

Hydrogen projects in Switzerland and abroad

Axpo has already launched several hydrogen projects in 2024, while its first and so far largest green hydrogen plant at the Reichenau hydroelectric power station in Switzerland is about to be inaugurated. Axpo is also working with the Australian company IGE to develop one of the largest hydrogen production facilities in Italy, in central Abruzzo’s Peligna Valley. In addition, the first hydrogen-powered passenger vessel on Switzerland’s Lake Lucerne is being planned in collaboration with the SGV shipping company. As part of this project, Axpo will supply the green hydrogen needed to operate the boat. The hydrogen will be produced locally at a new production facility in nearby Bürglen.

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