Port Moody in British Columbia will soon be a port equipped with brand-new technology that could produce up to 2,500 tonnes of clean burning hydrogen annually from natural gas.

FortisBC Energy, Suncor Energy and Hazer Group on Monday (4th July) unveiled plans for a pilot project at Suncor’s Burrard Terminal site that will use methane pyrolysis technology to produce hydrogen while storing the carbon by-product as solid synthetic graphite.

The technology set to be deployed at the Canadian site will be provided Australia’s Hazer Group and will generate approximately 300,000 gigajoules of clean-burning gas energy that can replace the equivalent annual natural gas usage of approximately 3,300 B.C. households.

Believed to be a first of its kind in North America, the project is now in its first phase, comprised of a front-end engineering, design studies and permitting applications. By the end of 2023, a prototype hydrogen reactor is expected to be constructed onsite.

Roger Dall’Antonia, President and CEO of FortisBC, said, “FortisBC is transforming BC’s energy future. While we are in the early stages of an exciting energy transformation with this hydrogen project, innovative partnerships like this will help accelerate that change.”

“Renewable and low carbon gases, like hydrogen, are instrumental in reducing greenhouse gas emissions effectively and affordably while ensuring we have a resilient and diversified energy system for British Columbians.”

Geoff Ward, CEO and Managing Director of Hazer, added, “Innovative technologies such as the Hazer Process offer enormous potential to create new economic opportunities while supporting the decarbonisation objectives of FortisBC and the province.”

“We are delighted to work with FortisBC, Suncor and the Government of British Columbia on this innovative project which will be a world-leading example of the application of methane pyrolysis.”

In addition to contributing to Canada’s hydrogen ambitions, following the launch of its hydrogen strategy in December 2019, the project will also help Suncor achieve its goal of being a Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions company by 2050.

Kris Smith, Executive Vice-President of Downstream at Suncor, said, “Hydrogen has the potential be a significant part of the future energy mix and is a key part of Suncor’s strategy to be a Net Zero greenhouse gas emissions company by 2050.”

“We appreciate the British Columbian government’s support for the development work on this project. And we look forward to continuing to work together on this project that, if sanctioned, will bring low carbon intensity hydrogen supply to the Greater Vancouver Area.”