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Edmonton will be the site of Western Canada’s hydrogen hub with a new multi-billion dollar complex expected to be operational by 2024.
An investment of $ 1.3 billion was announced Wednesday for the first phase of a project of Air Products, a multinational based in the United States.
It aims to capture 95% of its carbon emissions, by reducing carbon intensity to a level which the company says is “close to zero”, by producing blue hydrogen for the electricity grid and for transport by truck by 2024.
Alberta is contributing $ 15 million to the complex, which is expected to create 2,500 construction and engineering jobs and eventually provide enough liquid hydrogen to power every transit agency in the province.
Premier Jason Kenney said the complex is well suited to take advantage of Alberta’s massive natural gas supply.
“This is just the start – with projects like these, our province is securing our future as a clean energy powerhouse,” said Kenney.
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The announcement follows provincial and federal hydrogen plans to expand the production of blue hydrogen, which uses natural gas and carbon capture technology.
The Canadian government signs a memorandum of understanding with Air Products, but François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, did not provide specific details on any tax incentives or investments to which the federal government would engage.
Champagne said investors and consumers want to see more sustainable products and projects like these will create good jobs as the market shifts to take advantage of hydrogen.
“The global race is on and Canada is ready to lead the way in building a cleaner, stronger and more resilient economy with our private sector partners,” said Mr. Champagne.
Air Products CEO Seifi Ghasemi said he did not provide specific details on the additional phases.
“I hope this will be the start of many, many other projects that we will do in Canada,” he said.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson called it a “transformative” investment, adding that the clean hydrogen energy boom has the potential to revitalize the energy sector and the local economy.
“We need lots and lots of pathways to achieve net zero (emissions) by 2050, but hydrogen is a big deal, and it’s no secret that Alberta has had tough economic times given of all the pressures and disruptions facing our energy sector, ”said Iveson, who noted the city was purchasing two hydrogen-powered transit buses.