Air Products' C$1.6bn hydrogen production and liquefaction facility expected to become operational in 2024.

By Dale Lunan

The governments of Alberta and Canada unveiled November 8 C$461.5mn of new financial support for Air Products’ planned C$1.6bn (US$1.2bn) clean hydrogen production and liquefaction facility in Alberta’s Industrial Heartland near Edmonton.

The new funding comes on top of C$15mn awarded in 2021 by Emissions Reduction Alberta under its Shovel-Ready Challenge.

The facility, which will produce about 165mn ft3/day of low-carbon hydrogen when it becomes operational in 2024, will deploy advanced auto-thermal reformer technology to capture 95% of the CO2 emissions from hydrogen production and sequester it permanently underground. Hydrogen-fueled electricity will offset the remaining 5% of emissions.

Hydrogen produced at the new facility will be used in a variety of markets, including industrial, transportation, power generation and utility heating. About half of the 165mn ft3/day output has already been sold to the nearby Imperial Oil refinery, which will use it to produce renewable diesel fuel.

About C$161.5mn of the new funding will come from the Alberta Petrochemical Incentive Program (APIP), while Ottawa’s C$300mn investment will come from the federal Strategic Innovation Fund’s Net Zero Accelerator (NZA) initiative.

“Alberta’s hydrogen sector is growing rapidly, with more and more hydrogen-powered projects coming online over the coming years,” Alberta energy minister Pete Guthrie said. “With more than $161 million in funding for Air Products’ clean hydrogen facility, we are creating jobs, growing the energy sector and bringing clean hydrogen to customers across Western Canada.”

Alongside its C$300mn investment, the Canadian government also announced that 10 companies had responded to a “call to action” earlier this year by the NZA initiative for new decarbonisation projects.

At an Edmonton news conference announcing the support to Air Products, Francois-Philippe Champagne, federal innovation, science and industry minister, said the 10 companies had put forward projects representing C$17bn of potential investment that could reduce COemissions by 10mn metric tons/year.

“The Air Products project is really just the tip of the iceberg of what is coming in terms of decarbonisation,” he said. “We are really on our way to be leading in a decarbonised economy.”