Giant Canadian Green Hydrogen Project Finally Gets Regulatory Approval, After First Attempt was Rejected
04.11.2024 By Tank Terminals - NEWS

April 11, 2024 [Hydrogen Insight]- Regulators yesterday (Tuesday) granted environmental permitting approval for a massive 1.2GW green hydrogen and ammonia export project in eastern Canada, five months after rejecting the project’s first application.


World Energy GH2, the developers of Project Nujio’qonik, in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador, resubmitted its environmental impact statement (EIS) for the first two phases in January this year, after local stakeholders raised concerns about the project’s water use, its grid build-out needs and its plans for an interim electricity supply, putting the future of the scheme in jeopardy.

Each 600MW phase of Project Nujio’qonik would produce around 206,000 tonnes of green hydrogen per year, which would be converted to 1.17 million tonnes of ammonia for export to international markets.

But the government of Newfoundland and Labrador has now accepted the updated EIS, which issued a series of clarifications on water and transmission issues — including how it plans to source electricity while it builds out up to 2GW of wind capacity to power the electrolysers and ammonia production.

The company is currently carrying out a system impact study with local hydropower producer NL Hydro, to assess the impact on the local grid of Project Nujio’qonik when using hydropower as a back-up source of electricity, and during a period of up to six months between the first 600MW phase of the green hydrogen and ammonia plant coming on line (due in late 2025) and the associated wind farm being commissioned (scheduled for Q1 2026).

World Energy GH2 is also discussing a power-purchase agreement with NL Hydro, which envisages Project Nujio’qonik sourcing hydropower — which makes up 96% of Newfoundland and Labrador’s power grid — at times of low demand.

The project comprises three phases totalling 1.8GW of electrolysis capacity and 3GW of wind farm capacity, although the EIS appears to only apply to the first two phases totalling 1.2GW of electrolysers and 2GW of wind power.

The environmental approval lasts for three years, subject to World Energy GH2 continuing to monitor the environmental impact of the construction and operation of the plant at its own expense.

Project Nujio’qonik, which was also recently granted a C$125m (US$94m) loan from the federal government of Canada, is on track to reach a final investment decision (FID) on the first US$5bn phase in 2025, World Energy GH2 told Hydrogen Insight recently, adding that it is seeking more funding via a final pre-FID equity call at the end of this year.

“Project Nujio’qonik continues to be one of the most advanced green hydrogen export projects under development, globally,” said Sean Leet, managing director and CEO, World Energy GH2. “We appreciate the government of Newfoundland and Labrador’s approach to conducting their due diligence over the past 22 months, and recognise the continued hard work required by government going forward as we all stand up this new industry.

“In support of advancing our project, and ensuring Newfoundland and Labrador seizes the opportunity at hand, we have made significant investments in the environmental process. We are committed to advancing our project responsibly.”


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