A $62 million hydrogen production plant and fuelling station is one step closer to reality, following a decision by Prince George city council Monday night.
Following a public hearing, city council approved the first three readings to bylaws to amend the Official Community Plan and rezone Hydra Energy’s proposed site at 9048 Sintich Rd., located at the intersection of Sintich Road and Northern Crescent. Final approval will be considered at a future meeting.
Hydra Energy originally intended to build a hydrogen fuelling station at the site, and produce the flammable gas off-site at another location, David McWalter of McWalter Consulting Ltd. said.
“The applicants want to make Prince George into a hydrogen hub, similar to what is being developed in Edmonton. And they hope to do the same two years from now out in Prince Rupert, 500 miles apart,” McWalter said. “…(Basically) we’re taking water, city water, and using the adjacent BC Hydro powerlines to produce hydrogen, and the waste product is oxygen, which is simply vented to the air.”
Producing the hydrogen on site will mean less traffic, but if through the design process it is a determined a deceleration lane is needed on Sintich Road, then Hydra Energy will build one, he added.
The hydrogen produced on site will be primarily sold to converted transport truck operators, McWalter said.
‘In the last few months, we’ve been pounding the pavements, speaking to local truck operators, truck fleets, and the response has been phenomenal in terms of converting existing diesel trucks to a combination of diesel and hydrogen,” he said. “Trucks that are converted, and it’s a fairly easy conversion – it’s basically three or four days in the shop and $60,000 later your truck can run on hydrogen or diesel, either or.”