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Suncor to develop hydrogen project in Alberta amid renewables push

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May 11 (Reuters) - Suncor Energy will develop a clean hydrogen project near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, in one of the most significant steps taken by an oil sands producer to cut greenhouse gas emissions and tackle climate change.

Canada's cash-rich oil sands firms have been facing mounting pressure to spend on energy transition at a time when Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has set a goal of net-zero emissions for the country by 2050.

The project, with ATCO Ltd, would produce more than 300,000 tonnes per year of clean hydrogen, reducing Alberta's carbon dioxide emissions by more than 2 million tonnes per year.

About 65% of the produced hydrogen would be used in refining processes at the Suncor Edmonton refinery in Alberta, while another 20% of it could be used in the Alberta natural gas grid, the companies said.

The hydrogen production facility could be operational as early as 2028, while a sanctioning decision is expected in 2024.

Suncor will construct and operate the hydrogen production and carbon dioxide sequestration facilities, while ATCO will construct and operate associated pipeline and hydrogen storage facilities. (Reporting by Rithika Krishna in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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