With this ambition of creating the first engineering joint venture dedicated to accompanying airports in their project to integrate hydrogen in their infrastructure, Air Liquide and Groupe ADP are strengthening their collaboration. This announcement follows a memorandum of understanding signed in 2021 to carry out feasibility studies to accompany the arrival of hydrogen-powered aircraft. This partnership project demonstrates the Groups’ shared ambition to act now to pave the way for decarbonized air transport worldwide.
The purpose of this 50:50 joint venture will be to provide airports in France and across the world with the engineering and services they will need in their transition to hydrogen. As the first hydrogen-powered commercial aircrafts are expected by 2035, airports need to start reconsidering their infrastructure as of today. In particular, they must look at how liquid hydrogen will be supplied and how it can also serve other ground mobility usages, notably heavy duty mobility or light ground support equipment.
The services provided will allow airports to meet all the challenges they will face to integrate hydrogen, including:
- Estimated volumes of hydrogen required over time;
- The optimal hydrogen supply chain based on the airport’s specific characteristics and location;
- Scope and pre-installation work for the hydrogen infrastructure required at the airport;
- Preliminary safety studies;
- Cost studies and investment road maps;
- Carbon impact assessments…
In 2021, Air Liquide and Groupe ADP initiated a first collaboration, together with Airbus, to carry out a year-long study into the configurations of 30 airports worldwide, with a particular focus on Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly. Preliminary studies confirmed hydrogen’s potential to decarbonize aviation, identifying several production and supply chain patterns that can be integrated in airport infrastructures. Thanks to this cooperation, Air Liquide and Groupe ADP have developed unique expertise in the infrastructure sizing and pre-implementation phases that will be required at airports for this transformation.
Air Liquide will bring to the joint venture its expertise in hydrogen, from production through electrolysis, liquefaction, storage to the distribution of hydrogen to aircraft. Groupe ADP will contribute its expertise in airport engineering and knowhow in airport operations.
Matthieu Giard, Vice President, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee notably supervising hydrogen activities, said:
“Hydrogen is necessary to tackle the challenge of the energy transition. Studies carried out with Groupe ADP over the last year have confirmed hydrogen can have a major contribution to decarbonize the airport sector. Airports have to be ready for hydrogen-powered aircrafts by 2035, and to foster the emergence of a hydrogen mobility ecosystem at large. This is why now is the time to work on adapting infrastructures. Air Liquide and Groupe ADP therefore project to create the first joint venture specialized in this field, building on our initial collaboration and pooling the complementary expertise of our two Groups. In line with our commitments, our ambition is to actively contribute to the emergence of a low-carbon society.”
Edward Arkwright, Groupe ADP Deputy Chief Executive Officer, said,
“Having worked together with Air Liquide to produce studies over the past year, this joint venture was a logical next step. With it, we expect to have the first ground-based hydrogen technology use cases in place at Paris-Charles de Gaulle and Paris-Orly airports in 2023. Our collaboration with Air Liquide is a long-term one and is based on the complementarity of our respective expertises : the hydrogen supply chain for Air Liquide and airport infrastructure and operations for Groupe ADP.”