Paris, Hyvolution show, October 28, 2021

Ets ROUSSEL, the THEVENIN & DUCROT group, HAFFNER ENERGY and Jean-Paul FARGHEON are proud to announce the launch of the first “well-to-wheel” ecosystem. The system integrates the collection of local biomass (remnants of farming, forestry and wine) by Ets ROUSSEL, the production of renewable hydrogen by Haffner Energy’s HYNOCA process, and the distribution of green hydrogen for sustainable mobility and industrial use through the Avia network by Thevenin & Ducrot. 

The joint company SAS Pole Pôle Bourbonnais was created for this project. Its goals are:

  • The creation of a green hydrogen production station using the HYNOCA® process with a capacity of 720kg of green hydrogen per day (25,500 tonnes per year).
  • The deployment of a hydrogen refuelling station with the AVIA brand for heavy and light vehicles. The station will be integrated into a service area and will be the starting point for Thevenin & Ducrot’s hydrogen sector for distribution to the public.
  • The purchase of a set oaf tube trailers for the distribution of hydrogen in the region.
  • The acquisition of 13 heavy vehicles (trucks) running on hydrogen for the needs of the partners.
  • Use of this ecosystem by partners.

The project, which will have a strong impact on local job creation, aims to meet all regional green hydrogen needs for industry and communities, particularly for buses and garbage trucks. 

The Community of Communes of Commentry Montmarault in the Allier department and the Region AURA have given their firm backing to this major project.

The first project will be undertaken by Pôle Bourbonnais and carried out in Montmarault (03). Ets ROUSSEL will set up a platform for the collection and first transformation of biomass intended to supply the hydrogen station as well as biomass energy needs of local industry and regional authorities. Thévenin & Ducrot will set up a large on site multi-energy multi-service AVIA station. The station will have a direct connection to both the motorway and local customers, and will serve mobility users. 

Other projects are also in development by the partners, with an equivalent project planned for the Burgundy site of Ets ROUSSEL in Chambœuf (21).

The total investment excluding heavy vehicles for the two sites amounts to nearly €30 million and is expected to be operational in mid-2023.

About Ets ROUSSEL: 

SARL Roussel, now Pôle Biomasse Hautes-Côtes, is a family business producing wood energy such as forest chips and firewood. With over 10 years specialization in this field, the company works mainly with “in sector” supply rather than by direct logging. They achieve this by purchasing the raw material (wood scraps, bark, cuttings …) from producers of finished wood products, such as sawmills, meranders etc, with whom they have established long-standing partnership relations. 

The company today aims to produce green hydrogen by combining Hynoca technology and the AVIA distribution network with its experience in wood energy. Together, we aim to become a major player in the energy transition for green industry and mobility. 

In addition to the existing site of Chambœuf (21), Roussel is deploying a new platform for the production and distribution of this energy on the Montmarault site ( 03). 

About the Thevenin & Ducrot Group: 

Thevenin & Ducrot is a French, family-owned and independent company (5th generation owner-management and a workforce of 540 people). Since 1929, Thevenin & Ducrot has been a co-owner of the AVIA brand that it has operated since 1952 in the eastern half of France. Of Swiss origin, the AVIA brand is represented by more than 80 independent companies in 14 European countries. Specialized in the distribution of energy, their activities are mainly structured around 3 major poles: 

  • A network of service stations with more than 400 points of sale in towns and the countryside (AVIA is today the 2nd French oil network in terms of number of points sales).
  • Distribution for businesses and individuals, in particular of domestic fuel oils, RNG, diesel, lubricants and pellets.
  • The management of 50 service areas on the French motorway network.
About Haffner Energy:

Haffner Energy is a French family company co-founded by Marc and Philippe Haffner. They have over 25 years of experience in biomass energy production processes, including turnkey projects (EPC). The company is the designer of the HYNOCA® process, which is the result of a long development process and is considered a breakthrough innovation. The first installation was implemented in Strasbourg in June 2021. HYNOCA® enables the production of renewable hydrogen from biomass. The production process has a carbon footprint ranging from neutral to negative, and is completely decorrelated from electricity prices and needs. For the purposes of the project, Haffner Energy will ensure the construction and installation of two green hydrogen production stations.

About Jean-Paul Fargheon

Jean-Paul Fargheon acts as a private investor. Sensitized since 1996 to the development of production of energy from biomass (e.g. forest and rice milling), he wished to participate in the creation and development of an innovative green hydrogen production sector with recognized industrial partners.


For Haffner Energy: Christian Bestien