Decarbonizing hydrogen production in industry

13 Aug 2021

Tractebel is supporting ENGIE and TotalEnergies on Masshylia, the largest industrial green hydrogen project in France. Once operational, it will avoid up to 33,500 tons of carbon emissions per year.



ENGIE and TotalEnergies will jointly design, develop, build and operate the Masshylia project, France’s largest green hydrogen production site. The solar-powered project is located at the heart of TotalEnergie's La Mède biorefinery in the south of France.  

Upon completion in 2024, the site will be the country’s first large-scale initiative to decarbonize hydrogen used in industrial processes. Tractebel has been involved from the start of the project, which will produce an estimated 15 tons of green hydrogen per day via a 40MW electrolyzer. 

Next steps to mobilize a broad range of Tractebel expertise 

Following the pre-feasibility analyses conducted by our experts in 2019, the next phase of the project is currently underway. In collaboration with partners ENGIE and TotalEnergies, our experts in France recently completed the consolidation phase of the site architecture (design bases, estimates, etc.) and the preliminary design stages. These include the process, electricity and civil works studies, implementation plans, health, safety and environmental (HSE) studies and integration with other aspects of the project. 

To fulfill the requirements of a project of this magnitude, Tractebel has mobilized a multidisciplinary team of more than 15 experts. Our mechanical engineers are studying hydrogen storage, and electrical engineers are developing design solutions for the interface between the renewable energy supply source, the photovoltaics (PVs), and the plant.  

As part of the industrial safety studies, our experts conducted 2D simulations for domino-effect calculation. The partners identified constraints to and from the existing biorefinery, then Tractebel integrated these into the hydrogen plant. We are also studying the necessary permitting requirements and schedule constraints, and are implementing corresponding activities with the partners.  

Green hydrogen for a new era of cleaner industry 

Hydrogen is an increasingly viable energy alternative to help decarbonize not only specific regions, but also industries. The Masshylia hydrogen plant will produce green hydrogen by electrolysis, the process of splitting water molecules into hydrogen (H2) and oxygen (O2). The resulting hydrogen is considered green when the electricity used in the process is derived from renewable sources - in this case, solar.  

 Presently, hydrogen used in refineries is mainly derived from natural gas. Replacing it with hydrogen based on renewable energy is an effective way to decarbonize refinery operations. The green hydrogen produced at Masshylia will be used as a substitute for steam methane reforming in industrial processes for the biorefinery. 


The mobilization of such a broad range of Tractebel expertise under one roof underscores our capacity to deliver end-to-end, multidisciplinary hydrogen solutions. Collaborating with the ENGIE/TotalEnergies consortium on France’s first large-scale project to decarbonize industrial hydrogen is a great source of inspiration, as Masshylia will serve as a benchmark for other companies and sectors. The more green hydrogen in industry, the closer we are to engineering a carbon-neutral future.”

Maud Sosso, Project Director Energy in France


Discover our hydrogen solutions and project portfolio.

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