Germany and Canada’s so-called 'Hydrogen Alliance' kicked off today with the news that German utility Uniper has scooped an agreement to source 500,000 tonnes of green ammonia — made with renewable hydrogen — from a major new project on Canada’s Atlantic coast from 2025.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU), agreed today (Tuesday) between Uniper and project developer EverWind Fuels, paves the way for the two companies to sign a binding offtake agreement for the green ammonia (NH3) from EverWind’s Point Tupper green hydrogen and ammonia project in Nova Scotia.

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"The transformation of our industry continues,” said German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who is visiting Canada on a mission to secure alternative energy supplies, among other diplomatic matters. “This is an important step not only to strengthen our bilateral economic relations, but also for a future-oriented and sustainable energy supply.”

Nova Scotian hub?

EverWind believes that Point Tupper, which it describes as a “multi-phase green hydrogen and ammonia production and export facility…in advanced stages of development”, will be the first of its kind on Canada’s Atlantic coast when it comes into commercial operation in 2025.

Green hydrogen produced at the plant will be made with renewable power from local onshore wind farms and “certified green power” from the grid, the company says on its website, noting that Norway’s Nel is on board to supply electrolysers, while KBR is supplying the technology for the green ammonia unit.

A second offtake MoU signed today — with whom remains undisclosed —takes total mooted supply agreements from Point Tupper to one million tonnes.

Further expansions of the Point Tupper could see it utilising offshore wind power to generate up to ten million tonnes of green NH3, EverWind said.

The company wants to use the facility, located in a small rural community, as a jumping off point for a regional green hydrogen production and export hub. Canada’s Atlantic coast plays host to several other nascent green hydrogen and ammonia projects, including a proposal announced yesterday in New Brunswick, and two others in Newfoundland.

Earlier this year Scott Urquhart, founder Danish offshore wind analytics firm Aegir Insights, predicted on Recharge that Nova Scotia’s significant offshore wind potential, thus far overlooked, could finally be realised on the back of rising hydrogen demand.

“Reliable democracy”

German officials and business leaders have been scouring the globe for green hydrogen and ammonia deals since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine tipped the country into energy crisis, and have been tapping future H2 markets such as Namibia and Australia.

“Uniper is building up a portfolio of H2 products on a global scale by originating, transporting and finally supplying customers mainly in Europe in the future,” said Klaus-Dieter Maubach, chief executive of Uniper. “The EverWind project is a very promising opportunity to source green ammonia based on excellent conditions and governmental relations to support the endeavour.”

Canada expects to be able to export 25 to 30 million tons of green hydrogen, according to reports in the German press.

As he left for Ottowa on Sunday evening, Scholz noted that Canada is rich in raw materials, but unlike Russia, which used to supply half Germany’s natural gas, it is “a reliable democracy”. He has nevertheless played down the prospect of securing LNG supplies from Canada.