Air Products announced last week that it will build a multi-billion dollar net-zero hydrogen energy complex in Edmonton.
The company began work on the core of the energy complex in 2018. The $1.3 billion net-zero hydrogen production and liquefaction facility is expected to be onstream by 2024 and produce 30 tonnes per day. Air Products says advanced hydrogen technology and innovative design will deliver net-zero emissions.
The new facility will capture over 95 per cent of the carbon dioxide from the feedstock natural gas and store it safely back underground and hydrogen-fuelled electricity will offset the remaining five percent of emissions.
Company president and CEO Seifi Ghasemi says his global hydrogen production company’s decision to invest in their innovative project is “paving the way for hydrogen from Edmonton to meet industrial and transportation needs throughout western Canada.”
As part of Canada’s clean energy diversification strategy and regulatory framework, hydrogen is expected to play a key role in reaching the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. Hydrogen is suitable for heavy duty vehicles and is seen as having a substantial technological advantage over battery electric vehicles in heavy-duty applications, especially in Canada’s extreme climate conditions.
Air Product’s technologies are currently used in over 1.5 million refuellings annually across 20 countries.
Hon. Seamus O’Regan Jr., Canadian Minister of Natural Resources, said, “Hydrogen’s moment has come.” He added “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.”
Air Products forecasts its hydrogen business in Alberta will reach over 1,500 tonnes of hydrogen production per day and will achieve greater than three million tonnes per year of CO2 capture. Initially, Air Products says it will build, own, and operate a new net-zero hydrogen complex consisting of a world-scale Auto-Thermal Reformer (ATR) hydrogen production facility to be built on a large project site in Edmonton that has room for expansion.
CO2 captured will by the plant will be permanently sequestered through the Wolf Carbon Solutions wholly-owned and operated Alberta Carbon Trunk Line. The entire facility will be powered 100 per cent by hydrogen and any excess power will be exported to the grid.
Air Products Canada’s Edmonton facility will also produce clean liquid oxygen and nitrogen for the merchant industrial gas market.
Dr. Samir J. Serhan, Air Products’ Chief Operating Officer said “The combination of multiple facilities, state of the art technologies, our existing 55-kilometre Alberta Heartland Hydrogen pipeline, our project execution expertise, and our record of reliable operations will set the benchmark for competitive hydrogen to support growth in Alberta for many years to come.”
Rachel Smith, Air Products Canada Vice President says the complex will use Alberta’s natural gas resources to produce net-zero hydrogen which will reduce the “environmental footprint of the refining sector and facilitating future growth in the hydrogen economy in Edmonton and the Alberta Industrial Heartland.”
The Air Products complex marks a first in the wider use of hydrogen in Alberta, enabling the production of liquid hydrogen to be an emissions-free fuel in the transportation sector, and to generate clean electricity. This is expected to have a positive impact in lowering Alberta’s carbon emissions.
The company says it is considering further investments in both existing and new hydrogen facilities in Alberta and across Canada. The Edmonton project site was selected to permit expansion of the energy complex, including replication of net-zero hydrogen production assets to meet growing demand.
Air Products’ existing Heartland Hydrogen Pipeline network was designed for growth and has the capability to more than triple current volumes.
David Knight Legg, CEO of Invest Alberta Corporation, said, “The future of net-zero is in the hands of engineers, entrepreneurs, investors, and companies like Air Products.” Edmonton’s mayor Don Iveson agrees. He sees the facility will serve western Canada as well as lucrative export markets.
“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,” said Iveson. “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.”
Air Products Canada currently operates three hydrogen production facilities in Alberta, as well as a 55-kilometre hydrogen pipeline in the Alberta Industrial Heartland. The company also operates a hydrogen production facility, a 30-kilometer pipeline network and a liquefaction facility in Sarnia, Ontario. Air Products also operates over 1,100-kilometres of hydrogen pipelines worldwide and has had no incidents.