Government collaboration supporting the future of Alberta’s clean hydrogen sector
Cooperative approach to supporting the transition of Canada’s economy to a low-carbon future
June 9, 2021 – Edmonton, Alberta
The COVID-19 pandemic has made life difficult for Canadian workers and businesses. As we emerge from the pandemic, governments are working on an economic recovery that will create well-paying jobs and a healthy environment for Canadians, today and well into the future.
As competition heats up in the global recovery, it is more important than ever for industry and governments to work hand in hand in getting an early foothold in growing markets. To this end, governments are working together to help Canadians seize economic opportunities, including jobs, in the area of clean fuels and other low-emission products. Canada, including Alberta’s energy sector, is starting with a solid foundation of expertise, resources and policies to succeed in building a cleaner, stronger and more resilient economy—one that is competitive in an increasingly low-carbon global economy.
Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta, and His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton, announced that their governments are working closely with Air Products Canada Ltd. to advance clean energy in Canada and jointly pursue a transformative $1.3 billion net-zero hydrogen production investment. The clean hydrogen facility would be operational by 2024, a first-mover anchor to secure Canada’s early foothold in the global hydrogen market, pending further discussions and a final scope decision from the company.
The Government of Canada and Invest Alberta have each signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the company on potentially supporting the expansion of its hydrogen network and the transition to clean energy. This would involve the company building a new world-scale facility in the Edmonton region to produce clean hydrogen. This project would enable Air Products Canada Ltd. to produce hydrogen-fuelled electricity and provide liquid hydrogen for the growing transportation market, as well as other key industrial sectors.
This aligns with the Government of Canada’s strengthened climate plan—A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy—and Budget 2021, which identify the development of next-generation clean fuels, such as hydrogen, as a way to secure our clean industrial advantage and clean-growth future. It also supports early actions outlined in the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada to lay the foundation for success in the short, medium and long term.
“As consumers and investors demand lower-emitting products, we will continue to support Canadians and businesses that are ambitious about seizing these opportunities, creating good jobs and helping Canada achieve net zero by 2050. We are always ready to roll up our sleeves alongside provincial, municipal and business partners to reach these goals. Today’s Air Products announcement demonstrates that our government’s policies are attracting investments in Canada’s energy sector and ensuring that Alberta’s workers and ingenuity play a key part in Canada’s economic recovery.”
- The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
“Hydrogen’s moment has come. It’s the low-carbon fuel that gets us to net zero. This opportunity will create thousands of jobs and use the skills and expertise of workers in Alberta to lead Canada to the forefront of the global hydrogen market. Working with Alberta and Air Products Canada, we are building a low-emissions energy future that leaves no one behind.”
- The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr, Minister of Natural Resources
“Alberta is a leader in emission reduction and responsible energy development. Alberta’s combination of competitive taxes, abundant natural resources and innovation is attracting new investment by world-leading companies, like Air Products, to expand their operations right here in our province. This also demonstrates early success for Invest Alberta, with its mandate to promote our province as an international investment destination for new and exciting large-scale opportunities that build on Alberta’s experience and expertise.”
- The Honourable Jason Kenney, Premier of Alberta
“This project is a key milestone for Edmonton’s low-carbon future. It will harness the energy expertise of the Edmonton metro region to produce liquid hydrogen that could be used to fuel city buses and other transportation applications across western Canada, and ultimately serve lucrative export markets as well. The 2,500 construction jobs, substantial local tax revenue, and spin-off benefits for decades to come are also welcome in the COVID recovery context. Along with our neighbours in the Edmonton Region Hydrogen Hub, we’ve leaned into Northern Alberta’s competitive advantages to drive growth in the hydrogen economy. With that parallel focus on regional prosperity and energy transition, the team at Edmonton Global have engaged closely with Air Products for many months, leading to today’s win for our community.”
- His Worship Don Iveson, Mayor of Edmonton
“We sincerely appreciate the support of the Government of Canada, the Government of Alberta, Invest Alberta, the Mayor of Edmonton and Edmonton Global. We are proud to expand our presence in this dynamic region, where we have found a vision for decarbonization that mirrors our core values. Sustainability is our pathway to growth and central to Air Products’ business every day around the world. By being a first mover and investing in this innovative landmark project, we are paving the way for hydrogen from Edmonton to meet industrial and transportation needs throughout western Canada. Our highly integrated project will be a model for net-zero atmospheric gas, hydrogen and power production consistent with our announced growth platforms.”
- Seifi Ghasemi, Chairman, President and CEO of Air Products Canada
The term “blue hydrogen” is used when hydrogen is produced using natural gas and the carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions generated from the process are captured and stored. Storing CO2 rather than releasing it into the atmosphere reduces greenhouse gas emissions and results in clean hydrogen and clean energy.
Air Products’ project would involve building a major new hydrogen production and liquefaction complex that would make Edmonton a hub for western North America in the hydrogen economy and deliver substantial economic benefits to the region.
Air Products Canada Ltd., a subsidiary of Air Products, was incorporated in 1997 and has been actively engaged in helping Canada’s upgrading and refining sector produce cleaner energy products. Air Products Canada currently operates three hydrogen production facilities in Alberta and a 55 km hydrogen pipeline in the Alberta industrial heartland. The company also operates a hydrogen production facility, a 30 km pipeline network and a liquefaction facility in Sarnia, Ontario. Globally, Air Products has a 60-year track record in reliably supplying hydrogen around the world.
Clean technologies offer significant benefits to Canadians, from reduced electricity costs to clean air to more than 211,000 well-paying jobs. They also contribute to reducing our environmental impacts while helping Canada meet its climate change goals.
Clean technologies contributed more than $28.8 billion to the Canadian economy in 2019, including the export of approximately $7.05 billion worth of clean technology goods and services.
The Hydrogen Council, a global advisory council of corporate executives, estimates that by 2050, the global hydrogen sector could generate US$2.5 trillion per year and create 30 million jobs. Alberta recently completed a consultation with representatives from industry, academia, municipalities, Indigenous groups and environmental organizations on a roadmap for the future of hydrogen in the province.
In October 2020, Alberta launched the Alberta Petrochemicals Incentive Program. Eligible project proponents include hydrogen production facilities using natural gas and carbon capture, utilization and storage. The program offers companies a grant worth 12% of their eligible capital costs to help drive investment in the sector.
In December 2020, the Government of Canada released the Hydrogen Strategy for Canada as a call to action for all levels of government, industry and Indigenous organizations to spur investments and strategic partnerships across the country and beyond our borders. It provides an ambitious framework for actions that will cement hydrogen as a tool to achieve our goal of net-zero emissions by 2050 and position Canada as a global industrial leader in clean, renewable fuels.
A/Director of Communications
Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry
Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada
Office of the Premier
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