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In brief: InvestEU Fund backs EIB investment into battery electrolyser system to produce green hydrogen

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Published: 23 October 2023

Plus: Construction of electric battery gigafactory gets EU funding |EIF partnership bolsters European sustainable infrastructure investment

The EIB is investing in the production of green hydrogen | Photo by Anthony Ramersad on Unsplash

Dutch climate tech scale-up receives EU backing

Battolyser Systems, which has developed a battery electrolyser system for producing green hydrogen, has signed a €40m financing agreement with European Investment Bank (EIB), to scale-up and commercialise its Battolyser technology.

The agreement is backed by a guarantee from the InvestEU Fund, which is part of the InvestEU programme aimed at mobilising investment in support of EU policy priorities, such as the green transition.

The Battolyser proprietary technology is touted as being the world’s first integrated battery electrolyser system that stores and supplies electricity as a battery and, when charged, splits water into hydrogen and oxygen as an electrolyser.

As an electrolyser, the firm said it could produce affordable green hydrogen when power prices were beneficial and that as a battery, provided clean back-up power and offered energy trading opportunities when grid-connected. The combined technology will also help to integrate renewable energy sources such as solar and wind into the net-zero energy system of the future, the company said.

The financing will enable the company to scale its production facility in Rotterdam towards mass production of its combined electricity storage and electrolyser stack system, with commercial deployment scheduled for 2024.

EIB invests in construction of French electric battery gigafactory

European Investment Bank (EIB) has also invested €450m with the support of InvestEU into the construction of an electric battery gigafactory in Douai, in the Hauts-de-France region of northern France, operated by AESC (Automotive Energy Supply Corporation), a manufacturer of high-performance batteries for electric vehicles and energy storage systems.

The factory, which is expected to be operational by 2025, will provide 9GWh of batteries to power 200000 electric vehicles produced by carmaker Renault each year, with capacity expected to gradually increase to reach 24GWh to 30GWh of battery production per year by 2030.

The EIB investment includes €337.2m in direct loans to the project and €112.8m in indirect loans to participating commercial banks, and it is hoped will create 1,200 direct jobs in the next three years and up to 3000 jobs by 2030.

Although initially aimed at equipping Renault,  future phases of expansion are expected to supply both Renault as well as other automotive and industrial manufacturers.

The Douai factory is one of four battery gigafactories planned in the region to benefit from the InvestEU fund guarantee.

EIF partnership bolsters investment in European sustainable infrastructure

KBC Insurance, the insurance arm of Belgian multi-channel bank insurer KBC Group, has announced a partnership with the European Investment Fund (EIF), which will see KBC Insurance invest up to €200m in sustainable infrastructure funds in Europe, through an investment facility managed by the EIF.

The EIF will manage the capital made available by KBC Insurance by selecting a number of European fund managers investing in climate infrastructure projects aligned with the climate goals of both the European Investment Bank Group (EIB) – of which the EIF is a part- and KBC, and in line with EU Taxonomy.

The partnership is expected to run over a period of at least 20 years, and target a range of sustainable climate-related projects, including those focused on renewable energy production, storage and distribution, energy efficiency, smart-green cities, digital and sustainable transport infrastructure.

The EIF said the partnership would allow it to expand its investor base to the private market in line with the objectives of the EIB to catalyse third party private capital into climate and infrastructure investments and provide additional resources in support of the European green transition objectives and closing of the infrastructure gap.

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