Aiming to realize a decarbonized society through the development of a hydrogen value chain
ITOCHU Corporation (headquartered in Minato-ku, Tokyo; Keita Ishii, President & COO; hereinafter “ITOCHU”) announced today that it has acquired shares of Clean H2 Infra Fund. S.L.P. (French company) (“the Fund”), the world’s first large-scale clean hydrogen infrastructure investment fund, through its wholly owned special purpose corporation (“SPC”). To coincide with this move, ITOCHU also entered into an agreement with Tokyo Century Corporation (headquartered in Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo; Makoto Nogami, President & CEO; hereinafter “Tokyo Century”) regarding the third-party allotment of shares in the SPC to Tokyo Century, enabling the joint ownership of shares in the Fund (investment ratios of 50% to ITOCHU and Tokyo Century respectively following the allotment), contingent upon the approval of regulatory authorities. The SPC plans to invest up to 20 million euros in the Fund.
The Fund was established in October 2021 at the initiative of three French companies, namely Air Liquide, one of the world’s biggest industrial gas suppliers, TotalEnergies, a leading European integrated energy company, and VINCI, the world’s third largest infrastructure concession and construction company.
From Japan, the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) has committed to investing up to 100 million euros as an anchor investor. In addition to JBIC, South Korea-based Lotte Chemical, US-based Baker Hughes and other leading international firms with strengths in the energy, chemical, infrastructure, hydrogen technology, insurance and finance sectors have joined the Fund, which has already secured funding worth of one billion euros.
The Fund is managed by general partner Hy24, an equally-owned joint venture between Ardian, a world-leading private investment house, and FiveT Hydrogen, an investment manager specialising purely in clean hydrogen investments . The Fund’s investment policy is to primarily target clean hydrogen production projects and hydrogen infrastructure projects such as hydrogen stations that are among those expected to reach commercialization at an early stage as part of the hydrogen value chain.
Together with Tokyo Century, ITOCHU intends to use the knowledge and experience gained through this investment to broadly cater to the decarbonization solution demands of domestic and overseas business partners based on a market-in mindset.
Pierre-Etienne Franc, Hy24’s CEO stated: “Japan is one of the most promising and committed countries in the world for the deployment of hydrogen. Partnering with Itochu, a key actor within the ecosystem, is a new step for our Clean H2 Infra Fund, allowing us to fully play our role of catalyst to accelerate the implementation of hydrogen projects that are crucial for the energy transition.”
In December 2020, the Japanese government announced the “Green Growth Strategy Towards 2050 Carbon Neutrality” (later revised in June 2021) and as part of that strategy, hydrogen is expected to contribute to the decarbonization of various fields as a key technology for carbon neutrality.
For its part, ITOCHU will aim to contribute to greenhouse gas reductions while accelerating the development of sustainable energy systems through these initiatives and ensure its contributions to the SDGs and improvement of related efforts, one of the basic policies laid out in its medium-term management plan, as the company pursues a global low-carbon society.