Edmonton Global is receiving a total of $3.74m for two projects to strengthen the regional hydrogen supply chain and expand investment initiatives to grow the Edmonton regional economy.

An investment of $3m will help increase the scale and scope of foreign direct investment initiatives that target specific subsectors such as hydrogen, and an additionally $744,000 will enable Edmonton Global to develop the region’s hydrogen supply chain and labour market.

The funding will help create an online database of regional small- and medium-sized businesses with capacity to move into the hydrogen supply chain, workshops focused on advancing the hydrogen economy, and engagement with businesses and post-secondary institutions to compile a hydrogen labour market assessment that will identify skills and training needs.

The investment was announced by the Honourable Dan Vandal, Minister for PrairiesCan, and Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister for Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance.

The Alberta Motor Transport Association and the University of Alberta are receiving $3m to increase access to hydrogen fuel and showcase the benefits of hydrogen technology for heavy vehicles.

This initiative will encourage the adoption of hydrogen fuel by Alberta’s heavy vehicle sector, including freight trucks, municipal buses and heavy equipment, by supporting product testing to demonstrate the real-world capabilities of hydrogen powered heavy vehicles.

Key activities include acquiring hydrogen fuelling equipment in Calgary and Edmonton to carry out pilot projects involving hydrogen fuel for trucks, buses and heavy equipment; providing fleet operators the opportunity to trial the use of hydrogen fuel; an educational and public awareness tour to engage industry; and the commissioning of a pilot hydrogen fuelling station in Calgary.

Edmonton’s C-FER Technologies is also receiving $3 million to upgrade its testing facility for hydrogen fuel infrastructure, equipment and technologies.

Working with technology providers and end users, C-FER will conduct a testing program to ensure the safe, efficient and reliable performance of hydrogen transportation and storage infrastructure, marking a key component of the Alberta Innovates’ Hydrogen Centre of Excellence, a $50m initiative to accelerate hydrogen sector development in Alberta.

Minister Dan Vandal said, “Albertans are leading the way in hydrogen technology and we are working with industry and government partners to realize that potential. Today’s investment is all about building Canadian expertise throughout the entire value chain to develop new hydrogen supply, distribution and end uses that will support a green economy, a low-carbon energy ecosystem and create and sustain good-paying jobs for Alberta workers.”

Minister Boissonnault said, “The Edmonton region is Canada’s hydrogen leader, and we have the natural resources and skilled workforce here to drive the emerging hydrogen economy. Today’s investments are another step on our journey to net zero emissions; supporting a healthy environment and a healthy economy while creating good paying jobs for Albertans.”

The global market for hydrogen as a fuel is expected to be over $11trn by 2050, and Canada’s share of the global market for hydrogen is estimated to be up to $50bn per year.