Canadian Manufacturing

Canada, Alberta sign deal with Air Products Canada for $1.3B hydrogen plant

If built, the plant would produce enough hydrogen-fuelled electricity and liquid hydrogen for all transit authorities across Alberta.

June 10, 2021  The Canadian Press

The federal and Alberta governments have signed an agreement with a company that could lead to a $1.3 billion hydrogen plant being built in Edmonton.

Two federal ministers, Alberta Premier Jason Kenney and Edmonton mayor Don Iveson announced on June 9 a memorandum of understanding with Air Products Canada to build the plant, which would produce the clean-burning fuel from natural gas.

“This is a very concrete step toward one of the first facilities that will help make Canada, Alberta and Edmonton global leaders in growing the clean hydrogen sector,” said Francois-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, who appeared with Natural Resources Minister Seamus O’Regan.

In a release, Air Products Canada — which already operates three hydrogen facilities in Alberta and one in Ontario — said its board of directors has approved the project “subject to final completion of the agreements contemplated in signed memorandums of understanding between Air Products and Canadian authorities, and with appropriate permit approvals.”

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Those agreements to be completed include government investment, tax and regulatory provisions.

“We will be working out details of potential support and incentives for this project,” said Kenney, who added Air Products has already received $15 million from the province’s carbon levy through Emissions Reduction Alberta.

Ottawa will be part of those talks, said Champagne.

“Once you have an MOU, then you need to move to the next phase to come to a final agreement and define the level of contribution and the commitments that would be made by the federal government and the company.”

If built, the plant would produce hydrogen-fuelled electricity and liquid hydrogen for transportation. It could be running by 2024 and would create about 2,500 jobs in the construction and engineering phase, said Rachel Smith, the company’s Canadian general manager.

Air Products would take natural gas produced in Alberta and remove 95 per cent of the carbon. That carbon, in the form of carbon dioxide, would be injected underground using already existing infrastructure. Its own operations would be carbon neutral.

The plant would capture three million tonnes of CO2 yearly and produce 1,500 tonnes of hydrogen a day.

“There will be enough liquid hydrogen capacity to fuel every transit agency across Alberta,” said Smith.