SGS: an innovative asset for hydrogen

Who are SGS?

Founded in 1878, SGS is a Swiss multinational based in Geneva, offering a range of services linked to control, verification, analysis and certification in the fields of trade and the transport of goods. Created in Rouen, the company was originally a specialist in the inspection and control of cereal shipments exported from France. In 1919, it was bought out and transferred to Geneva. This was the start of the company’s diversification. The range of services was expanded to fields such as auditing, training, quality assurance and regulatory checks. Stock-market listed, the company expanded on the international scene, opening no less than 2 700 offices and laboratories across the globe. Its verification, inspection and certification services help companies to stay in line with regulatory norms, to reduce risks, to improve their operational efficiency, and to improve customer confidence.  

In which sector does the company operate?

As a research laboratory, SGS works across a large number of sectors, such as: agri-food, where the security and conformity of foodstuffs are checked; the industrial sector with research in fields such as manufacturing industry, electronics, and vehicles. SGS also undertakes research in the energy field by providing certifications and advice for the nuclear, petrol, solar and more recently, hydrogen sectors.  

Why choose France?

One of the main reasons for this set-up is directly related to the French hydrogen strategy over the last few years. Already having a number of offices and laboratories in France, SGS made the choice of Harfleur in Normandy for its hydrogen sector base. This laboratory achieved the COFRAC ISO/CEI 17025 n°1-6456 norm, demonstrating the technical skills and the capacity to provide precise and viable results. This office is now the base for the SGS analytical team with responsibility for controlling the quality of hydrogen. Normandy, a key region for the industrial and logistics sectors, has been implementing an ambitious hydrogen plan, making it the key region in France in this sector.

A strong regional assistance:

AD Normandy has been assisting this project, which started in 2021 and was completed the following year, notably with regional aids to ensure its implementation in Normandy.  

What future for SGS in Normandy?

This unit should employ 28 staff and be the only unit in the world undertaking research into the quality of hydrogen. This is a sector in full expansion worldwide, and this unit will have all the tools and technology to lead studies in this field,

“We can test the gas in hydrogen refuelling stations, production sites and any other sites using hydrogen, up to 700 bars of pressure.”  

As Azzedine Laras, Sustainability Service Business Manager, Natural Resources at SGS France underlines

Normandy is setting itself out as an attractive region in terms of the energy mix, but also in innovative sectors, such as hydrogen, a sector in full expansion.

Energy and transition

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