LAFARGEHOLCIM joined the H2SHIPS project in September 2020 as an associate partner. We have asked Thibault Poilleux, head of Marine / River operations at LAFARGEHOLCIM GRANULATS (LHG), to present his company and his expectations regarding the project.
Could you briefly introduce your company and your main activities?
LAFARGEHOLCIM GRANULATS , is a company specialised in the extraction, production and sale of aggregates, the management of building site waste and the recycling of building waste.
Which role does waterborne transport play in your company?
LHG exploits a fleet of barges and pushers on the Seine. This fleet transports aggregates from the quarries located along the Seine and supplies them to concrete plants in Paris. The river vessels evacuate excavated earth from the building sites on their return journey.
What do you think about hydrogen as an alternative fuel for inland waterways?
The inland waterway sector is one of the modes of transport that emits the least greenhouse gases per tonne transported. Nevertheless, progress still needs to be made, particularly in terms of motorisation. Hydrogen, a source of energy that emits neither particles nor CO2, would make it possible to further reduce the ecological footprint of inland shipping.
Have you set up a roadmap to decarbonise your fleet of boats?
We plan to transform the propulsion system of one of our manoeuvring tug boat so that it can embark a hydrogen-powered fuel cell by 2024. We also plan to develop a hydrogen powered push boat.
What do you expect from the H2SHIPS project and what would you like to bring to the project?
H2Ships aims to design a hydrogen distribution station in the Paris area. Without this refuelling solution, hydrogen river vessel projects will never become a reality. LHG will provide its expertise to help define the most appropriate solutions to be implemented.
Thank you very much Thibault for this interview. We are very happy to have LAFARGEHOLCIM GRANULATS in the consortium.