French shipbuilder Chantiers de l’Atlantique is working to expand the offshore engineering portion of its business to offset the continuing lull in future cruise ship orders. Today they announced an agreement with Lhyfe, a pioneering company in renewable green hydrogen, to develop offshore projects tied to Lhyfe’s renewable green hydrogen production platforms.
Lhyfe already has 93 projects in development for production plants in Europe making it one of the leaders in the emerging renewable green hydrogen sector. The company, whose green hydrogen production plants are directly interconnected with renewable energy sources to supply local industry and transportation, inaugurated its first industrial production plant in September 2021. Currently, 20 of its projects are in varying stages from construction to pending awarding construction or tender ready, representing a total of 380.5 MW, due to be operational between 2023 and 2026. Its total portfolio would amount to 4.8 GW of total installed capacity.
The new memorandum of understanding comes as Lhyfe and Chantiers de l’Atlantique, who have already been working together for 18 months as part of the SEM-REV project on the co-development of a pilot system for offshore hydrogen production, prepare to launch the world’s first offshore renewable hydrogen production demonstrator off the coast of Saint-Nazaire, France in September 2022.
On the strength of this first demonstrator, the two companies reported that they wanted to reinforce their partnership to deploy the system on a large scale. Lhyfe and Chantiers de l’Atlantique will collaborate on offshore renewable hydrogen production projects with on-grid or off-grid wind farms. Chantiers de l’Atlantique will design, build and install the platforms, while Lhyfe will be in charge of the design and operation of the renewable hydrogen production facilities.
The new agreement aims not only to develop the renewable hydrogen fuel chain at sea, but in port areas as well. For offshore projects, the two partners plan to develop production solutions with a minimum capacity of 100 MW, which will be installed on existing fixed structures, or mounted on seabed foundations or floating platforms.
One of the oldest and best-known shipbuilders in Europe, Chantiers de l’Atlantique, via its Marine Energy & Engineering business unit (Atlantique Offshore Energy) has developed expertise in renewable marine energies. The company has recently built four offshore electrical substations for offshore wind farms. Chantiers has been focusing a key part of its shipbuilding work on cruise ships, and while it has additional orders from the Royal Caribbean Group for cruise ships, the yard has been seeking to expand its operations. Chantiers has also expanded its work with the French Navy, currently working on a contract to build four supply vessels.