A $3.7m hydrogen production plant is to be built at the University of Regina, Canada, heralding the completion of another piece of the province's green plan and the opportunity for further scientific biofuel research.

Scheduled to be open as early as 2008, the local government of Saskatchewan announced funding of $1.44m for the project and it is hoped that the plant will demonstrate that hydrogen technology is commercially viable.

Jeff Allison, senior vice president of HTC Purenergy of Regina, indicated that hydrogen production is in its infancy and investors want to see working models and profit potential before they jump in with both feet. He said, $quot;Investors want to see a working model before we roll it out into the field. We want to say: 'Here's a real working commercial plant, here's what it costs, here's the results.$quot;

The plant will be located in the Greenhouse Gas Technology Centre at the University of Regina and is thought to be capable of making up to 2kg of hydrogen gas per hour.

Allison notes, $quot;That doesn't sound like much, but hydrogen is a gas, so it's quite a lot.$quot;

One source of material for hydrogen production is leftover crops that farmers don't use, with this waste collected and used to create hydrogen.