Canada, Germany aim to start hydrogen transport by 2025

STEPHENVILLE, Newfoundland — The leaders of Germany and Canada said Tuesday that a new hydrogen pact will kick-start a transatlantic hydrogen supply chain, with first deliveries expected in just three years.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz signed the deal in the port city of Stephenville, Newfoundland. A Canadian company plans to build a zero-emission factory that will use wind energy to produce hydrogen and ammonia for export.

Hydrogen is seen as part of Europe’s plan to reduce its reliance on Russian fossil fuels, particularly in light of the war in Ukraine and recent cuts in the supply of Russian natural gas to Germany and other countries.

“The market case and the need to scale up was coming and not quite there yet. Russia’s illegal and unwarranted invasion of Ukraine has accelerated everything,” Trudeau said.

Scholz said Canada is Germany’s preferred partner now that the country is no longer dependent on Russia for its energy supply.

“Our need could be even greater under the new circumstances,” Scholz said.

Natural gas prices have risen as Russia cut or cut off natural gas flows to a dozen European Union countries, fueling inflation and increasing the risk of Europe slipping into recession. Germans have been urged to reduce gas consumption now so that the country has enough for the coming winter.

The Canadian government signed separate agreements with Volkswagen and Mercedes-Benz earlier Tuesday, giving the two German automakers access to Canadian raw materials for batteries in electric vehicles. The agreements include Canadian cobalt, graphite, nickel and lithium.

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