Federal government promises $9.7M to Alberta hydrogen technology department

Federal government promises $9.7M to Alberta hydrogen technology department

Ottawa will provide nearly $10 million into the budding hydrogen sector in Alberta.

The federal government has delivered nearly $10 million to support the growing hydrogen industry in Alberta

The federal government has delivered nearly $10 million to support the growing hydrogen industry in Alberta. The federal money, expected to support 1,600 jobs, will be augmented by another $3 million from Alberta. Chrystia Freeland tours Air Products hydrogen production plant in Edmonton, on August 25, 2022. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Amber Bracken

Government officials say the $9.7 million will improve access to hydrogen technology, develop and test that technology, attract investment and develop training.

Ottawa made the announcement Tuesday morning at Alberta Motor Transport Association’s (AMTA) facility at Edmonton’s airport. The AMTA and University of Alberta received about a third of the federal dollars – $3 million – to put on a hydrogen fuel showcase in February.

The event will provide the heavy-vehicle industry the opportunity to test hydrogen technology. Organizers are planning tests of hydrogen-diesel dual-fuelled trucks and hydrogen-only fuelled trucks.

“It allows us to go and test this with our members right away, as opposed to waiting for a demand from the members’ side. It really helps with adoption when people can see what the results are,” AMTA president Willie Hamel commented.

Hamel called this an important part of scaling hydrogen production in Alberta.

Governments expect the global hydrogen market to exceed $11 trillion by 2050.

“In order for us to unlock the potential, we need to create demand here,” Edmonton Mayor Amarjeet Sohi said.

A trucking company that specializes in precious metals and other high-value items has jumped on board, deploying an armoured truck that runs on 40 per cent hydrogen and 60 per cent diesel.

“We are under the belief that, as a venture-owned and operated business, we have to put our best foot forward in making sure that we actually take action on our ESG story,” VEXSL’s founder and CEO Cole Fouillard said.

He gave the politicians at the conference on Tuesday a ride in the truck.

“The future is in hydrogen gas and hydrogen fuel and so we are currently developing all of our new trucks with the capability to run hydrogen.”

EDMONTON GLOBAL, C-FER OTHER RECIPIENTS

Edmonton Global, the agency that helps grow the economy of Alberta’s capital region, will receive $3.74 million for two hydrogen projects: $3 million will be invested in boosting investment-attracting strategies, like hosting the 2023 Canadian Hydrogen Convention; the $744,000 will build the supply chain and labour market.

The last $3 million of federal funding is going to Alberta Innovates subsidiary C-FER Technologies. The organization has two large-scale testing facilities which it will use to test hydrogen products.

“We’re looking at converting existing pipelines to carry natural gas and hydrogen… We’re also looking at underground storage for hydrogen,” C-FER’s director of corporate services Brian Wagg explained.

“[The funding] is very big. It’s all new equipment we have to buy. We are going to be challenging the world in producing these new testing systems.”

The Alberta government is also contributing $3 million to the work through Alberta Innovates’ Hydrogen Centre of Excellence.

“What is happening in Edmonton is positioning Canada as a supplier of choice to the world for clean hydrogen and the technologies that use it,” said Dan Vandal, the federal minister in charge of PrairiesCan – or Prairies Economic Development Canada – which is delivering the federal dollars.

More than 1,600 jobs are expected to be created by the investment.

Canada’s hydrogen strategy aims to create a total of 350,000 jobs in the hydrogen sector by 2050. Alberta’s own hydrogen strategy outlines using hydrogen for power generation, industrial processes, transportation, and residential and commercial heating.

Source: CTV News – Alex Antoneshyn

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