The federal government in Ottawa and the Government of Alberta have signed an agreement with a private company that could lead to a $1.3-billion hydrogen plant being built in Edmonton.
Alberta Premier Jason Kenney, Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson and two federal ministers announced a memorandum of understanding with Air Products Canada to build the plant, which would produce the clean-burning fuel from natural gas.
The plant would produce hydrogen-fueled electricity and liquid hydrogen for transportation. It could be up and running by 2024 and would create about 2,500 jobs in the construction and engineering phase.
Air Products Canada would take natural gas produced in Alberta and remove 95% 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 carbon dioxide yearly and produce 1,500 tonnes of hydrogen a day. Hydrogen, which burns without releasing carbon, is considered to be one of the most promising paths to reducing emissions from city buses and transport trucks.
Estimates of the market vary but most suggest it would be in the tens of billions of dollars a year by the end of the decade. The Pembina Institute, a clean energy think tank that produced an assessment of the project for the company, praised Air Products' plans, calling its technology best-in-class.
The Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers said the industry was pleased to see new energy investment.