Canada’s Suncor Energy has teamed up with energy holding company ATCO to launch a massive hydrogen production project in Canada’s most emitting province.
The two companies have announced plans to engineer a clean hydrogen project near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta.
Expected to start operations as early as 2028, the facility — which would be located at ATCO's Heartland Energy Centre — would produce 300,000 tonnes per annum of hydrogen and reduce emissions in Alberta by 2 million tonnes a year.
The province produced 275.8 million of carbon-dioxide-equivalent emissions in 2019, the most out of any province in the country.
Canada emitted 730 million tonnes that year.
Suncor intends to reduce emissions through carbon sequestration and the use of hydrogen in refining processes at the Suncor Edmonton Refinery, estimating a reduction in emissions by 60%.
"With a highly skilled energy workforce and an abundance of natural gas resources, Alberta is ready to be a world leader in hydrogen production,” said Alberta Premier Jason Kenney.
“Massive hydrogen projects like this will help us reach our emission goals while also creating thousands of good jobs for Albertans."
Alberta announced last year its Natural Gas Vision and Strategy, which aimed to position the province as a global supplier of responsibly sourced natural gas and other related products, including hydrogen.
Specifically ‘blue’ hydrogen projects — which produce hydrogen from fossil fuels, with carbon captured and stored — have many opportunities in Alberta due to the large supply of natural gas.
The project would contribute to Canada’s climate goals to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and become a world leading hydrogen producer.
The country has made strides toward its goal with a national carbon price set to reach C$170 (US$140) per tonne by 2050 and other large hydrogen projects launching this year.
German industrial producer ThyssenKrupp announced in January it was creating an 88-megawatt water electrolysis plant in Quebec to produce ‘green’ hydrogen, making it one of the largest green hydrogen projects in the world.
This means it is produced using renewable energy rather than fossil fuels.
The plant is set to open in 2023 and would produce up to 11,000 tpa of hydrogen.