World's first offshore green hydrogen pilot production facility now online

A follow-up project will generate four tonnes of green hydrogen a day.
Ameya Paleja
The offshore hydrogen generation facility now online
The offshore hydrogen generation facility now online


The world's first offshore hydrogen production facility is now online in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Le Croisic, France. The platform was extensively tested on shore till May 2023 before being towed to the offshore site and restarted in just 48 hours.

As the world looks to move away from fossil fuels, hydrogen is a top choice for fueling large future projects. However, we have yet to figure out how to make large amounts of green hydrogen, which can sustainably fuel the planet's energy demands.

Founded in 2017, Lhyfe aims to reduce emissions to the tune of one billion tonnes and has been working on generating hydrogen using renewable sources of energy. In 2021, the group inaugurated the world's first hydrogen production site powered directly by a wind farm. Two years later, it has repeated this achievement but at an offshore facility, more than 12 miles off the coast of France

Taking hydrogen production offshore

The offshore green hydrogen pilot production facility, dubbed Sealhyfe, has been in the works for a few years now. Lhyfe teamed up with Capital Energy to make the one-megawatt (1 MW) electrolyzer in just 16 months and then tested it extensively in the Port of Saint-Nazaire between September 2022 to May 2023,

During this period, the company performed benchmarking tests to record the precise behavior and performance of the platform while working on ensuring that the platform can function in some of the most extreme environments with minimal maintenance interventions required when at sea.

Further, the company also developed the software and algorithm to enable the platform to work autonomously while being managed remotely. Satisfied with its progress, the company then decided to voluntarily test the platform in the extreme conditions it is expected to work under and then towed the platform to its site in the Atlantic Ocean.

World's first offshore green hydrogen pilot production facility now online
The hydrogen generation platform being towed

Offshore production pilot

Sealhyfe was towed to the SEM-REV testing site, France's destination for testing marine renewable energy technologies. It was then connected to the subsea hub's dedicated umbilical cable that was designed especially for hydrogen applications, a press release said. Following this, the platform was restarted and on stream in just 48 hours and even produced its first few kilos of hydrogen.

The company will replicate the tests conducted at the quay at the Port of Saint-Nazaire to compare the platform's performance and then perform some additional tests for offshore applications.

"We are extremely proud to be the first in the world to produce hydrogen at sea," said Matthieu Guesné, Founder and CEO of Lhyfe, in the press release. "This has been our wish since the launch of the company and we continue to move very quickly on offshore (applications), which for us represents a tremendous development opportunity for mass producing hydrogen and decarbonizing industry and transport."

Further to this achievement, Lhyfe has announced the HOPE project, where it will coordinate with nine partners in a consortium to aim for commercialization, where a 10 MW electrolyzer will produce up to four tonnes of hydrogen a day and be exported ashore by a pipeline.

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