The State sets out to conquer the hydrogen market and subsidize Plastic Omnium

Margaux Fodéré (in Oise), edited by Juliette Moreau Alvarez

Elisabeth Borne is betting on hydrogen. The Prime Minister had announced in the middle of the week to invest 2.1 billion euros in ten projects in the sector. Within the company Plastic Omnium, the news is welcomed with open arms, while its director wants to settle permanently in the sector.

France is accelerating the pace on hydrogen. Traveling to Oise on Wednesday, Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne announced an envelope of 2.1 billion euros to finance ten projects in the sector, including 74 million euros dedicated to the construction of the largest tank factory. in Europe, a project of the company Plastic Omnium. The objective of this subsidy is to support the development of hydrogen and thus produce 80,000 tanks per year for all types of vehicle: rail, utility, individual, etc.

A huge market to conquer

Hydrogen tanks will be available on any type of transport. In a truck, the plastic cylinder reaches 1m50 long and 60 centimeters in diameter, all surrounded by carbon fibers. “These are large tanks that are placed for the trains on the roof of the train. On the truck, it is placed behind the cabin”, explains Laurent Fabre, general manager of Plastic Omnium. “And then for private vehicles, we have tanks which are longer, thinner and which are put in the underbody of the car instead of the battery.”

© Margaux Fodere / Europe 1

With this new factory, the company expects an increase in orders. Autonomy, zero carbon in use, immediate recharging capacity like at the pump: faced with all these advantages, the market is huge, assures Laurent Fabre. “We are talking about heavy mobility, we are talking about commercial vehicles for Renault, for Stellantis. We are talking about mobility for Opium, which is a French hydrogen champion. And so we are going to build a factory which will employ a total of 200 employees .”

Today the margin for progress is enormous: only 0.02% of cars sold in the world run on hydrogen.

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