Regional economic development
Axelera is playing an active role in a number of projects generating economic growth and attracting businesses to the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region. Flagship projects include the Valchim and Appel des 30! projects in conjunction with the Greater Lyon intermunicipal authority and, with the regional government, the Salaise-Sablons industrial park and river port complex development project and the regional industrial brownfield rehabilitation project.
The Valchim study kicked off in 2011 when the Greater Lyon intermunicipal authority decided to identify waste industrial-process energy recovery opportunities to fuel the city’s urban heat networks. The study was completed in 2012–2013 in two phases. It was financed by the Greater Lyon intermunicipal authority, Direccte (the regional economic development authority), and chemical-industry federation UIC Rhône-Alpes.
A total of nine industrial sites in the region’s Chemical Valley were audited, identifying:
- Total potential waste industrial-process energy of 455,000 MWh/year
- Three potential ways to recycle this energy: within the same industrial site, between industrial sites, or to fuel the urban heat network
- Total potential recoverable energy of 217,000 MWh/year
- The industrial, technical, and regulatory challenges that will have to be overcome to actually implement waste industrial-process energy recycling
APPEL DES 30!
Chemical Valley, located just beyond Lyon’s south side, is strategically important to the Greater Lyon area’s economy. Major chemical corporations like Total, Arkema, Solvay, Bluestar Silicones, Engie, Kem One, and IFP Energies nouvelles have footholds in Chemical Valley, which has long been home to chemical synthesis, specialty chemicals, petrochemicals, and refining businesses.
To continue to harness the power of the chemical industry to fuel growth in Greater Lyon, the Greater Lyon intermunicipal authority has unveiled a far-reaching plan to develop and revitalize the several hundred hectares of commercial and industrial property that make up Chemical Valley by 2030. The overriding objective of the development plan is to make Chemical Valley a European cleantech hub, home to businesses spanning the chemical, environmental, and energy sectors.
In September 2014 the Appel des 30! project—the initial phase of the Chemical Valley 2030 plan—kicked off with Axelera as project partner. The project aims to develop 60 hectares of public and private land in Saint‐Fons and Feyzin. The goal is to give the plan a quick start by leveraging land immediately available for development into a tech and business park tailored to the needs of the chemical, environmental, and energy businesses that will shape tomorrow’s Chemical Valley.
the inspira project to develop the SALAISE-SABLONS industrial and river port complex
The Salaise-Sablons industrial and river port complex is located in the towns of Salaise-sur-Sanne and Sablons, in the Isère district—a location that places it on major European river, rail, and road routes and in close geographic proximity to the region’s major cities of Lyon, Valence, Saint-Etienne, and Grenoble.
Today, 110 hectares of the 330-hectare complex are occupied by businesses that employ 900 people, making it one of the Isère district’s largest centers for economic activity. The complex is also very close to the Roussillon-les-Roches chemical park, home to an additional 1,400 jobs. A total of 170 hectares of undeveloped land offer substantial potential for expansion.
Axelera is supporting the project to develop this land, with the goal, shared by the regional government, of attracting businesses that respond to new needs or that provide services for which there is unmet demand locally, regionally, and nationally. These include sustainable energy and manufacturing techniques, renewable materials, smart distribution, high-tech chemistry, R&D, and generally any small- to mid-sized company doing business internationally.
regional industrial brownfield rehabilitation project
Urban sprawl is gradually chipping away at our farmland. And yet, our urban and peri-urban areas are dotted with brownfield land. Giving this unused land a new life has become a pressing issue—but one that is fraught with complexities, not least of which is the sheer number of stakeholders involved.
In 2015 the Rhône-Alpes regional government began a concerted effort with its partners to improve the region’s brownfield land rehabilitation process. The project consortium includes four networks—Axelera, Indura, CERF Rhône-Alpes, and Envirhonalp—that together unite more than 500 of the region’s stakeholders from business, government, and academia. National and local government agencies, the National Geological Survey Agency (BRGM), the National Energy Agency (ADEME), and local and national land-management agencies are also on board.
Axelera is coordinating two priority initiatives under this project to:
- dress an inventory of relevant stakeholders
- improve the brownfield land rehabilitation process