The Mohammed VI Polytechnic University (UM6P) and OCP Group, a global leader in phosphate fertilizers and green hydrogen development, have become key partners in the ambitious “Climate Impulse” project. This initiative aims to achieve a non-stop, zero-emission world tour by 2028 using a hydrogen-powered aircraft.

The partnership agreement was signed on Friday in Benguérir, with notable attendees including the legendary explorer Dr. Bertrand Piccard, president of “Climate Impulse,” and Dr. Ilham Khadri, CEO of Syensqo, the project’s principal partner.

Dr. Piccard highlighted the significance of this initiative: “Beyond achieving the first non-stop, zero-emission world tour with a hydrogen-powered aircraft, Climate Impulse aims to unite leaders in innovation and technology to drive climate action across economic, industrial, and educational sectors.”

“The inclusion of OCP Group and UM6P will significantly advance this project by involving numerous students, thereby harnessing innovation for sustainability,” he added.

Hanane Mourchid, Chief Sustainability & Innovation Officer at OCP, emphasized the pioneering nature of this project in the context of essential technological development for decarbonization solutions. “We are proud to contribute to this project, which clearly demonstrates the potential to move towards a decarbonized economy based on green hydrogen,” she said. Mourchid reiterated OCP’s ambitious goal to be carbon-neutral by 2040 and particularly neutral in direct emissions by 2030, objectives that require the development and use of green hydrogen.

Dr. Ilham Kadri, CEO of Syensqo, expressed her pride in welcoming UM6P and OCP Group to the “Climate Impulse” project. She acknowledged their exceptional commitment to decarbonizing agriculture and stated, “Their expertise perfectly complements our partnership with the Solar Impulse Foundation, helping to bring this climate, technological, and human project to life.” Kadri celebrated the creation of this international synergy around such a hopeful project.

Hicham El Habti, president of UM6P, praised this collaboration as a unique opportunity for researchers and students to work on pioneering solutions to climate challenges, fostering the transfer of skills and knowledge within Morocco. He emphasized that this project allows students to engage in innovative projects, particularly in green hydrogen, an area where UM6P heavily invests in researchers, doctoral candidates, and equipment.

According to a joint statement, the development of the hydrogen-powered aircraft began in 2022, involving research, feasibility studies, and design with industry support. Since 2024, with Syensqo as the main partner, the aircraft’s development and construction have continued under the leadership of 49SUD, led by engineer and Climate Impulse co-pilot Raphaël Dinelli alongside Dr. Piccard.

The statement highlighted that “Climate Impulse” represents a major technological breakthrough contributing to aviation decarbonization and stands as a flagship of the clean technology sector. The Solar Impulse Foundation emphasizes the vast potential of such technologies daily.

“Thousands of solutions exist to make our world more efficient, balancing economic profitability and environmental protection. This adventure sends a strong, powerful message that modernizing and decarbonizing our world is possible today,” the statement added.

The joint effort by UM6P and OCP Group, alongside Syensqo, underscores their commitment to advancing the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 13 on climate action and supporting global initiatives for a sustainable future. This collaboration aims to highlight Morocco’s potential as an emerging leader in green hydrogen and demonstrate its significant role in developing sustainable and innovative solutions on an international scale.

Through this agreement, UM6P and OCP Group will be pivotal in addressing the technical challenges associated with Climate Impulse, including managing the extreme temperatures required to maintain liquid hydrogen at -253°C throughout the estimated nine-day flight. They will also be involved in designing and manufacturing suitable thermal tanks and exploring other innovative solutions to ensure the project’s success.