A proposed world-scale hydrogen project could produce up to 300,000 tonnes of green hydrogen annually in Alberta, Canada, and accelerate the province’s hydrogen strategy.

Suncor Energy and ATCO today (May 11) unveiled plans for the project that has potential to reduce Alberta’s carbon emissions by more than two million tonnes per year and support an economic recovery following the coronavirus pandemic.

Providing the project has the required regulatory and fiscal support to render it economically, the facility could be operational as early as 2028 at ATCO’s Heartland Energy Centre near For Saskatchewan. A sanctioning decision is expected in 2024.

It is expected that 85% of the produced hydrogen would be used to supply existing energy demand. Specifically, 65% of the output would be used in refining processes and cogeneration of stream and electricity at the Suncor Edmonton Refinery.

Approximately 20% of the output could be used in the Alberta natural gas distribution system.

Commenting on the project, Mark Little, President and CEO of Suncor, said, “With abundant natural gas resources and geology that is well suited to the utilisation and permanent storage of CO2, Alberta is one of the best places in the world to produce clean hydrogen.

“Suncor’s 50 years of experience producing and using hydrogen in refining and upgrading operations combined with ATCO’s extensive midstream gas experience creates a winning partnership to reduce our companies’ emissions and establish Canada as a global leader in clean hydrogen.

“Collaborating with industry partners and governments on these types of strategic projects will assist in decarbonising our base business.”

Nancy Southern, Chair and CEO of ATCO, added, “This project would be a global scale solution to reducing emissions with made-in-Canada energy ingenuity, whilst positioning Alberta at the forefront of the clean hydrogen economy.

“A clean energy future is shared national priority, and a transformational project like this one like this one will require extraordinary collaboration with all levels of governments. We look forward to working with our partners in government with our regulators to bring this vision to life.”

The project has already been supported by Alberta Premier Jason Kenney. In a statement, he said, “This partnership is good news for Alberta’s economic recovery. As our Covid-19 vaccine rollout continues to gain momentum, Alberta’s government will look towards how we can get our economy going and get Albertans back to work.

“With highlight skilled energy workforce and an abundance of natural gas resources, Alberta is ready to be a world leader in hydrogen production. Massive hydrogen projects like this will help us reach our emission goals while also creating thousands of jobs for Albertans.”