Canada: Another hydrogen and ammonia project in Point Tupper gets the green light

Canadian firm Bear Head Energy (BHE) has received Environmental Assessment (EA) approval from the Minister of Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change for its green hydrogen and ammonia production, storage, and loading facility in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia.

Image: Bear Head Energy

The proposed project is being developed instead of the previously approved Bear Head LNG project in the Point Tupper Industrial Park on the Strait of Canso, which is no longer being advanced.

BHE, which was acquired by Texas-based petroleum firm Buckeye Partners in July 2022, registered the proposed facility for environmental assessment (EA) on 21 February 2023. On 12 April, the Honourable Timothy Halman, Minister of Nova Scotia Environment and Climate Change granted the EA approval to the company.

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In addition to the environmental assessment approval, BHE has several other permits and approvals in place, including approval to construct its marine terminal and offloading facility.

According to the company, the project is permitted for up to two gigawatts of hydrogen electrolysers. At full build-out and peak power inflow, the Bear Head project could produce up to 350,000 tonnes of hydrogen and two million tonnes of ammonia per year.

It will be developed in phases and is expected to commence deliveries of green hydrogen and ammonia by 2028 at costs among the lowest in the world, driven by Nova Scotia’s wind resources, support from the Canadian federal government, and proximity to key markets, BHE noted.

“We are grateful to have achieved this enormous milestone for Bear Head, which could not have gotten to this point without the support of the Governments of Nova Scotia and Canada, First Nations, and local stakeholders, including labour unions, local governments, and the local community”, said Paul MacLean, Managing Director of Bear Head Energy, Inc.

“We believe green hydrogen and ammonia will play a fundamental role in facilitating the global energy transition, and this approval demonstrates that Canada and Nova Scotia are at the forefront of making this a reality.”

Bear Head is a wholly owned subsidiary of BAES Infrastructure, a diversified energy company focusing on the development, construction, and operation of energy transition projects. BAES Infrastructure officially launched in March 2023, with its seed portfolio including hydrogen-focused platforms such as Bear Head, OneH2, and a low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia production, distribution, and export hub under development in South Texas, as well as solar and wind renewable energy platforms Swift Current Energy and BAES Renewables.

The Bear Head is not the only green hydrogen and green ammonia project located in Point Tupper, Nova Scotia, with an environmental permit in place. Namely, EverWind Fuels also received the permit for the initial phase of its $6 billion, 1 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) green hydrogen and ammonia project in February this year.

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The Government of Canada recently revealed details of its Clean Hydrogen Investment Tax Credit (ITC) in Budget 2023, including a 40% ITC for clean hydrogen and a 30% ITC for clean technology to help Canadian companies be competitive on a global scale and encourage the use of clean energy.