TotalEnergies JV, Austrian firm join forces on proposed Tunisian green hydrogen project

28th May 2024 By: Tasneem Bulbulia - Senior Contributing Editor Online

TotalEnergies JV, Austrian firm join forces on proposed Tunisian green hydrogen project

Signing the MoU

TE H2, a joint venture between TotalEnergies and EREN Groupe, together with Austrian electric company VERBUND, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Tunisia to study the implementation of a large green hydrogen project, H2 Notos.

The proposed H2 Notos project will produce green hydrogen, using electrolysers powered by large onshore wind and solar projects and supplied with desalinated seawater, for export to Central Europe.

The project is expected to produce 200 000 t/y of green hydrogen during its initial phase, with the potential to scale up production to one-million tons a year.

The project will have access to the European market through the SoutH2 Corridor, a hydrogen pipeline project connecting North Africa to Italy, Austria and Germany, which is expected to be commissioned by about 2030.

TE H2, together with VERBUND, will be leading the development, financing, construction and operation of the integrated project.

In addition, VERBUND will coordinate the transport of the produced hydrogen towards Central Europe.

“The signing of this MoU with the Republic of Tunisia marks the actual start of this highly ambitious project after months of work and interactions with all stakeholders. We are delighted to partner with VERBUND to support the development of such a pioneering and ambitious endeavour in such a strategic location,” says TE H2 CEO David Corchia.

He adds that H2 Notos has the potential to become a significant supplier of green hydrogen for Europe, while fostering significant job creation in Tunisia.

“We are entering into a phase of greenfield development and major technical work to assess the feasibility of the project and we will need to further deepen the highly constructive and fruitful collaboration we have enjoyed with the national and local authorities through H2 Notos,” he comments.

“This agreement with TE H2 and VERBUND marks a significant step forward in our quest for clean, sustainable energy. Tunisia, firmly committed to its energy transition, sees in this project a strategic pivot to strengthen its attractiveness as a destination of choice for foreign investment in renewable energies,” says Tunisia Minister of Industry, Mines and Energy Fatma Thabet Chiboub.

“Tunisia is a particularly important upstream region in terms of scalability and competitiveness and a significant part of VERBUND’s hydrogen plans. We have set ourselves the goal of supplying the European industry with green hydrogen.

“By combining competitive hydrogen production in Tunisia and pipeline-based transportation, we can ensure long-term supply at scale to support a sustainable transition of our customers to green hydrogen, as well as support a sustainable economic development in Tunisia,” says VERBUND CEO Michael Strugl.

“We are delighted to be working with a strong consortium capable of realizing gigawatt-scale projects and look forward to developing them in partnership and close collaboration with the Tunisian authorities and population,” he adds.