German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s headline-grabbing visit to Canada this week has yielded yet another east coast green hydrogen project announcement, this time by US-based World Energy, which has pledged to build a 1.5GW green hydrogen and ammonia plant in Stephenville, Newfoundland and Labrador —with a whopping $12bn price tag.
The World Energy GH2 project, known locally as Project Nujio-qonik to reflect the indigenous name for the Stephenville area, aims to house a total of 1.5GW of electrolyser capacity, powered by up to 3GW of associated onshore wind.
Delivered in two phases, the project ultimately proposes to deliver 250,000 tonnes of green hydrogen to global markets, shipped overseas as 1.5 million tonnes of ammonia.
The first significantly smaller phase, which World Energy says will produce its first green H2 as soon as 2024, is likely to comprise a 500MW electrolyser and 1GW of wind power. The second phase will encompass a further 2GW of wind power and 1GW in electrolyser capacity across two additional sites nearby, planned for operation in 2026. The project website moots further expansions without giving any detail.
The H2 project marks Boston-based World Energy’s first foray into green H2, having built up a low-carbon fuels business with seven sites producing biofuels and sustainable aviation fuels (SAFs).
But it is far from clear how World Energy plans to source $12bn to finance the project, and the company had not responded to enquires from Recharge at the time of writing. The firm lists two private equity firms in its project team: Nova Scotia’s CFFI Ventures, which is run by World Energy GH2 director John Risley, and Australia’s Columbus Capital, but neither has publicly committed funds.
Atlantic Canada is positioned to be a global leader in the production of green hydrogen but there is no time to waste,” Risley said. “World Energy GH2 is thrilled to deliver tangible support to our friends in Europe who urgently need reliable sources of clean energy.”
The Stephenville site of the World Energy GH2 project was used by Scholz and Canadian prime minister Justin Trudeau yesterday to launch the Canada-Germany Hydrogen Alliance, which aims to build a transatlantic supply chain for green hydrogen and its derivatives, with first shipments of green ammonia pledged to German markets by 2025.
The proposal is one of three on Canada’s east coast contending for a slice of energy-starved European markets. Earlier this week EverWind Fuels signed a non-binding agreement with Uniper to deliver 500,000 tonnes of green ammonia to Germany’s Uniper from its planned Port Tupper facility in Nova Scotia. And the Port of Belledune in New Brunswick also this week launched a plan for a smaller-scale project to make green hydrogen and ammonia project for international export.
“The Canada-Germany agreement on hydrogen is born out of a geopolitical and environmental imperative to accelerate the development and trade of clean energy among close committed democratic allies,” said Gene Gebolys, World Energy’s chief executive. “It is 25 times larger than Germany with a population half its size. We are natural partners.” “The time to act is now, the place to act is here.”
UPDATED: to include quantities of ammonia and phase two schedule