Canada greenlights North America’s first green hydrogen production facility


Canada greenlights North America’s first green hydrogen production facility


Canadian start-up EverWind Fuels has secured the first environmental approval for the first phase of its commercial-scale green hydrogen and green ammonia plant in North America.

Provincial authorities in Canada have permitted EverWind to turn an old oil storage facility and marine terminal at Point Tupper in Nova Scotia into a green hydrogen and ammonia production hub.

Green hydrogen differs from traditional hydrogen only in its method of production; it is created by running water through electrolysers to separate the hydrogen and oxygen atoms, with the equipment driven by renewable energy, resulting in no carbon emissions that aggravate climate change.

Hydrogen is used in transportation, industrial processes, and fertilizer production. Given its potential to help governments meet emission-reduction targets, several countries are including the fuel's green form into their future energy plans.

While green hydrogen is now more expensive to create than hydrogen derived from fossil fuels, the cost is predicted to fall as electrolysis technology advances.

EverWind expects the project's first phase to be operational in 2025, producing and exporting 200,000 tonnes per year before ramping up to 1 million tonnes per year the following year. The company has purchase agreements with German energy giants E.ON (EONGn.DE) and Uniper (UN01.DE) for the production.

"To get the permit is a big deal," said Vichie, co-founder of Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and former employee of Blackstone Inc. (BX.N).

The green hydrogen produced by EverWind's facility will be combined with nitrogen and converted into ammonia before being shipped, in liquid form, in tankers to Germany, where it can be retained as ammonia or turned back into green hydrogen.

According to Vichie, the first phase of the facility's production will be powered by wind and solar assets that will be created nearby. The company leased 137,000 acres (55,440 hectares) in December to eventually put turbines generating 2 GW of wind energy to power production in its second, larger phase.

The project's total cost is projected to be around $6 billion. Three banks are assisting with debt financing, while Vichie's family office is supplying equity capital, Vichie said.

Development corporations from three First Nation bands in Nova Scotia, the Membertou, Paqtnkek, and Potlotek, have also invested in the project. Vichie noted that Everwind is also negotiating with the bands on a benefits agreement for indigenous communities, which would include jobs at the site.

In addition, the project will benefit from tax credits given by the Canadian government, announced in November, to encourage investments in renewable energy, including hydrogen.








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