Alberta government invests $161M in clean hydrogen

Air Products' hydrogen production facility near Edmonton. Courtesy: Air Products

The province is investing a large chunk of money into a growing clean energy sector.

On Tuesday, the Alberta government announced it was awarding $161 million to a U.S.-based industrial gas company that’s behind a new hydrogen facility northeast of Edmonton.

The facility, owned by Pennsylvania-based Air Products, is designed to produce clean hydrogen using advanced natural gas conversion techniques and carbon capture utilization and storage technology to permanently store the resulting carbon dioxide.

“Alberta is Canada’s hydrogen powerhouse and projects like this will create jobs, diversify the economy, and build additional clean energy capacity for use across Western Canada,” said Alberta Premier Danielle Smith.

“With such a huge attachment in the hydrogen market, our government’s Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program is making us the most attractive jurisdiction for companies looking to invest in hydrogen. Alberta’s economy will continue to charge ahead full steam with an investment climate that encourages businesses to grow and fuel job growth.”

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The money comes from the Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program (APIP), which supports the growth of facilities that use natural gas in their production processes.

Along with APIP funding, the Government of Canada also announced a federal contribution of $300 million through the Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net Zero Accelerator Initiative to support the project.

“We need to be bold and seize the moment and that’s exactly why we’re investing in Air Products,” said François-Philippe Champagne, the federal minister of innovation, science and industry.

“We are prioritizing a strong and sustainable economy, well-paying jobs, and ensuring a cleaner future. Hydrogen is one of the key elements for our path to net-zero and that’s why we’re making these important investments in Canada’s energy sector.”

The $1.6-billion facility is expected to create 2,500 construction jobs and 30 permanent jobs once it’s fully up and running in 2024.

It’s expected to produce more than 165 million standard cubic feet of hydrogen per day that can be used for things like transportation, power generation and utility heating.

Alberta is currently the largest hydrogen producer in Canada.

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