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Canada: Task Force Established to Advance Hydrogen Economy in Southeast Alberta

By August 13, 2021 5   min read  (971 words)

August 13, 2021 |

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Medicine Hat — The Southeast Alberta Hydrogen Task Force (Task Force), an independent working group created to establish a framework to implement a hydrogen economy in Southeast Alberta, was officially launched today.

Invest Medicine Hat is leading a world-class Task Force composed of Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), City of Medicine Hat, City of Brooks, Palliser Economic Partnership, CF Industries, Methanex Corporation, APEX Regional Innovation Network (Alberta Innovates, Community Futures Entre-Corp and Medicine Hat College), RockPoint Gas Storage, Campus Energy, Envoy Energy and The Transition Accelerator. The Task Force will produce foundational tools that detail the opportunities available to advance a zero-emission fuel economy in Southeast Alberta.

The Southeast Alberta Task Force was modelled after the Alberta’s Industrial Heartland Hydrogen Task Force, whose research paved the way for the Edmonton Region Hydrogen HUB to be established.

“The City of Medicine Hat is proud to play a leadership role in establishing Canada’s second industrial hydrogen hub,” said Mayor Ted Clugston, City of Medicine Hat. “This foundational work will form the basis of a long-term, regional economic development strategy, with the goal of creating thousands of jobs and hundreds of millions of dollars of investment in the local economy.”

Global hydrogen demand is forecast to grow exponentially in the coming decades as countries around the world drive to net zero. The Task Force will explore Southeast Alberta’s potential as a hydrogen hub, analyzing the region’s unique strengths and opportunities that could make it among the world’s lowest cost producers of low-carbon hydrogen.

The Task Force’s foundational study is the first step toward identifying broader economic opportunities associated with growing large-scale clean hydrogen production and use. The Task Force’s efforts will complement national and provincial hydrogen and natural gas strategies.

“The Southeast Alberta Task Force is the result of government and industry coming together to champion real change so Alberta can win economically and environmentally in a changing world,” said Dan Wicklum, CEO, The Transition Accelerator. “Picture Alberta using and supplying the world with zero-emission fuel made by upgrading natural gas or renewable energy. This could be a part of a very strong future for Alberta and Canada.”

“Alberta’s abundant, low-cost feedstock, skilled labour, and extensive infrastructure can make us a leader in the production, use and export of zero-emission hydrogen,” acknowledges Brad Maynes, managing director of Energy and Infrastructure, City of Medicine Hat. “In conjunction with our partners in the Southeast Region, we will play a key role in developing a framework that will power our economy and build our national and global reputation as innovators.”

Over the next six months, the Task Force will work collaboratively to set the stage for the long-term build out of a regional hydrogen economy. The Task Force’s foundational work will be completed in early 2022, with a final report summarizing the effort to follow.

To learn more about the opportunities for low-carbon hydrogen in Canada, visit https://transitionaccelerator.ca/our-work/hydrogen/ or https://www.investmedicinehat.ca.

The Honourable Jim Carr, Minister and Special Representative for the Prairies, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan): “This federal investment in the Southeast Alberta Hydrogen Task Force is just one part of the Government of Canada’s Hydrogen Strategy and will help our country reach net-zero emissions by 2050. By accelerating the production and use of cleaner energy sources, we are laying the groundwork for diversifying the economy, creating quality jobs, and supporting Alberta’s energy workers in the region.”

Honourable Dale Nally, Associate Minister of Natural Gas and Electricity: “The Government of Alberta believes hydrogen holds great potential for our province – both as a clean source of energy, and as a source of jobs and investment that will support the continued growth of our energy sector. Establishing a regional task force to build the foundation for those future investments is an important step to building up this industry in our province. I commend all the involved parties and look forward to working with them in the years to come.”

Wayne Steinke, General Manager, CF Industries Medicine Hat Nitrogen Complex : “Clean energy is the future, and we believe hydrogen will be essential to meeting the world’s clean energy needs. That’s why CF Industries is pleased to join Southeast Alberta’s Hydrogen Task Force and begin to prepare our region for the transition and opportunities ahead of us. Working together, we can harness Alberta’s unparalleled strengths to become a leader in the coming hydrogen economy.”

Mark Allard, VP North America, Methanex Corporation : “Methanex produces large quantities of hydrogen today which is ultimately used in the production of methanol. We are pleased to be involved in this collaborative task force to more fully evaluate the hydrogen opportunity and the associated prospects for carbon capture, utilization and storage.”

Jeremy Baines, CEO Campus Energy Partners : “Campus Energy is a proud owner and operator of critical energy infrastructure assets in Southeast Alberta and is developing new energy infrastructure that supports Canada’s net-zero Goals.  We are pleased to support the City of Medicine Hat in their efforts to advance a diversified energy economy with opportunities for new infrastructure investment and increased skilled employment in the region. As Southern Alberta’s leader in emission sequestration, Campus is keen to support local industry partners and regional stakeholders as a low-carbon hydrogen production and delivery strategy come into focus through the Transition Accelerator.”

James Ro, President, Envoy Energy Fuels Inc. : “The acceleration and success of the energy transition towards hydrogen will rely on collaborative efforts such as the Southeast Alberta’s Hydrogen Task Force. Envoy Energy is looking forward to playing a key role in the fueling infrastructure network and figuring out ways to make it cost effective, flexible and convenient.”

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