Canada and Germany signed an agreement to forge a hydrogen alliance that aims to build a transatlantic supply chain for green H2 and its derivatives, with first shipments of clean ammonia to Europe’s largest economy foreseen “as early as 2025”.

The alliance was sealed late Tuesday in Stephenville in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, marking the conclusion of a three-day visit to Canada by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, his economics and climate minister Robert Habeck, as well as top executives of German industrial heavyweights such as Volkswagen, Siemens Energy and Uniper.

Germany is striving to secure alternative energy supplies in the wake of dwindling imports from Russia, while at the same time trying to build up a climate-neutral economy.

At a press briefing in Toronto on Tuesday, Scholz said Canada was the partner of choice as Germany moves away from Russian energy imports at “warp speed”.

“Your country has almost boundless potential to become a superpower in sustainable energy and sustainable resource production,” he said

Habeck at the signing in Stephenville later that day stressed pursuing climate change mitigation is needed to secure prosperity and freedom.

“The Hydrogen Alliance between Canada and Germany is a significant milestone as we accelerate the international market roll-out of green hydrogen and clear the way for new transatlantic cooperation,” Habeck said.

“Specifically, we aim to build up a transatlantic supply chain for green hydrogen. The first shipments from Canada to Germany are to begin as early as 2025.”

Uniper, until recently Germany’s biggest importer of fossil gas from Russia, yesterday (Tuesday) had already announced a deal to source 500,000 tonnes of green ammonia – made from renewable hydrogen – from a major new project on Canada’s Atlantic coast that is part of the bilateral hydrogen alliance.

The green hydrogen to be produced in Canada’s Atlantic provinces (also including Nova Scotia and New Brunswick), is slated to come mainly from wind energy, before it is shipped across the Atlantic to Germany in the form of ammonia.

"Unlocking the potential of hydrogen is an essential part of our government’s plan for a sustainable economic future,” Canada’s natural resources minister Jonathan Wilkinson said.

“Not just for the domestic opportunities for emissions reductions, but also for its potential as an export opportunity – to provide clean energy to countries around the globe.”

The Canada-Germany hydrogen alliance builds up on an already existing energy partnership between the two countries. While Canada has pledged to step up the production of hydrogen, particularly sources from renewable energy, Germany will support potential importers and consumers of green hydrogen, including by co-financing joint projects, as part of its H2Global initiative.

Canada’s government said it will strengthen collaboration with provinces and territories, through Regional Energy and Resource tables, and the private sector (leveraging programs such as the C$1.5bn ($1.16bn) Clean Fuels Fund, and the C$8bn Strategic Innovation fund Net-zero accelerator, and the Canada Infrastructure Bank) to accelerate the development of Canada’s resources for the production of hydrogen and its derivatives.

The products are slated to be destined both for domestic use, and for export to Germany, the broader European market, and Asia.