The young company Elyse Energy announced on Thursday an investment of 700 million euros in a biomethanol plant intended to supply the chemistry and maritime transport sector on the Roches-Roussillon chemical platform (Isère).
A new example of the green hydrogen and synthetic fuel (e-fuel) programs, this unit will employ 80 people. Its construction should start in 2025 for commissioning in 2028, the company detailed in a press release.
Financing from two investment funds
Created in 2020 by five partners from the renewable energy sector, Elyse Energy, headquartered in Lyon, also announced a financing operation with two specialized investment funds: Hy24, which presents itself as the largest fund in the world in low-carbon hydrogen, and Mirova. , a Natixis subsidiary dedicated to “sustainable investment”.
This operation will be carried out by convertible bonds, the president of Elyse Pascal Pénicaud told AFP, without revealing the amount.
The company is engaged in a “4 billion euro industrial program” in e-fuels, shared between methanol and sustainable kerosene for aviation. In this last sector, Elyse Energy is piloting a power plant project in Lacq (Pyrénées-Atlantiques), planned for 2028 (1 billion euros), using biomass composed mainly of forest residues.
Decarbonize sectors of activity
The production of e-fuels, based on low-carbon hydrogen from the electrolysis of water and the reuse of CO2 emitted by manufacturers, contributes to the decarbonization of certain sectors such as the cement industry.
In Isère, CO2 will be captured from the chemical companies present on the platform and in particular from the Lafarge concrete factory in Teil (Ardèche).
The factory, which will also benefit from funding from the European Innovation Fund of around a hundred million euros, is targeting a target of 150,000 tonnes of e-methanol, intended for chemical companies and maritime transport, container ships and ferries.
“Today, e-fuel costs three times more than its fossil equivalent”
“In Roussillon, a barge transports methanol from Fos-sur-Mer. Tomorrow, it could go from Roussillon to Fos”, with e-methanol produced on site, hopes Mr. Pénicaud, while the Danish maritime transport giant Maersk baptized its first ship in the world running on bio-methanol on September 14 , crucial step. in its strategic plan to gradually phase out diesel.
“Today, e-fuel costs three times more than its fossil equivalent. But European directives currently being transposed into French law legally oblige industry, maritime and aeronautics to decarbonize. These new molecules are still produced on a small scale, which is why we need an ambitious industrial and programmatic vision to achieve economies of scale,” notes Mr. Pénicaud.
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