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Canada breaks new ground Step to export hydrogen to Germany

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Canada and Germany sign a memorandum of understanding for the sale of hydrogen. (Archive photo)

Radio-Canada

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The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding on Monday to create a trade program to sell Germany hydrogen produced in Canada, which includes proposed projects in Newfoundland and Labrador and Nova Scotia.

This is a historic agreement, according to the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, Jonathan Wilkinson.

This is a huge step forward. I believe Newfoundland and Labrador residents can be extremely optimistic about job creation and prosperity, said Mr. Wilkinson.

The ministry estimates that the export of hydrogen could begin in 2025.

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Everwind plans to produce hydrogen at the former oil and gas storage facility in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, starting in 2025.

In Nova Scotia, the companies Everwind and Bear Head Energy which want to open factories at Point Tupper have passed the environmental assessment stage. Their projects must still be evaluated for the wind farms that will power them.

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In Newfoundland and Labrador, the World Energy GH2 consortium wants to carry out a mega-project of a wind farm and hydrogen plant on the Port au Port peninsula. The company is still awaiting approval from provincial authorities as part of the environmental assessment process.

The federal government is respecting this environmental assessment process despite the memorandum of understanding, assures Minister Wilkinson. He says companies must address concerns about the consequences of these projects on the environment and the community. He explains that for his government it is a question of creating a framework within which these projects, if carried out, can be profitable.

The memorandum of understanding provides for the German H2Global Foundation to support transactions between Canadian producers and the German energy industry. Minister Jonathan Wilkinson and Vice-Chancellor Robert Habeck signed the document in Hamburg as part of an international conference.

These projects have an excellent potential, according to a ministry spokesperson, Carolyn Svonkin.

They will use Atlantic Canada's abundant, untapped wind resources and close proximity to Atlantic shipping lanes to become reliable suppliers of new clean energy exports globally, Svonkin said.

The government of Newfoundland and Labrador estimates that the projects in question in its province will result in a total economic impact of $206 billion, including 11.7 billion for the public treasury.

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and the First Minister Justin Trudeau signed a hydrogen agreement in August 2022 in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador. (File photo)

The agreement also aims to fight climate change and reduce Russia's economic advantages over European countries.

They can trust on themselves or on their friends and allies to provide them with the kind of fuel they will need in the future. Then they won't depend on dictators like Vladimir Putin, said Jonathan Wilkinson.

This type of approach focuses on the climate, on energy security. It is about the economic prosperity of Newfoundland and Labrador. And yes, we make sure to do it in a thoughtful way taking into account transportation, not just production, he said.

Work is underway to have ports and infrastructure in Canada and Germany facilitate the transport of hydrogen, according to Jonathan Wilkinson.

The minister added that the signing of the MOU does not constitute a green light for World Energy GH2 projects. We are not there yet. There is still work to be done. But he said he looked forward to the inauguration of the proposed facilities.

According to a report byWilliam Ping, ofCBC

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