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HomeNewsEby says province entering negotiations with Fortescue on green hydrogen plant in...

Eby says province entering negotiations with Fortescue on green hydrogen plant in PG

BC Premier David Eby says the new Fortescue green hydrogen plant to be constructed in Prince George will require 1,000 mega-watts of clean electricity in order to run.

Eby made the comments during a town hall session earlier this week. In September, Australian multi-billionaire Dr. Andrew Forrest, who is Fortescue’s Non-Executive Chairman and primary shareholder gave a presentation on what the plant would bring to our city.

Eby told media in attendance the province has now entered negotiations with the company on how to seize the opportunity without having residents pay more on their hydro bills.

“We have to negotiate with Fortescue, we had to negotiate with E-One Moli (Maple Ridge) and we have to negotiate with many of the companies who are thinking about locating here in BC because the Inflation Reduction Act in the United States gives them opportunities to go south of the border instead of locating to BC. It’s necessary for us to do this work.”

He added the 1,000 mega-watts requirement is quite the undertaking.

“The challenge for us is we want those jobs, we want this plant and we are entering into discussions and negotiations with Fortescue and how do we seize this economic opportunity without making British Columbians pay higher rates on their hydro bills.”

Once up and running, the plant will produce “approximately 140,000 tonnes per year of green hydrogen and approximately 800,000 tonnes per year of green ammonia,” making Project Coyote one of the largest hydrogen projects in the country.

Eby noted Prince George Mayor Simon Yu and the Lheidli T’enneh are on board with the project.

In a brief summary, Forrest said during his stop in PG the plant will use electricity to “split water into oxygen and hydrogen,” then take the hydrogen and “sell it as a proper industrial product” or mix it with Nitrogen from the air to create ammonia.

The plant is estimated to bring over 100 permanent jobs to Prince George, and could just be a “stepping stone” for the region according to Forrest.

Forrest casually mentioned the Prince George project represents a two billion dollar investment.

Fortescue signed a memorandum of understanding with the Lheidli T’enneh in 2021, they are not negotiating a fulsome Impact and Benefits Agreement.

Improving cancer care in the province was also on Eby’s mind during the event.

He told reporters when BC residents face the awful news of cancer diagnosis, they need to have confidence they are getting prompt and top-quality care.

Eby said adding radiation technologists to deliver better care as well as new cancer centres being built in Kamloops and Nanaimo are big pieces to the puzzle.

“We know there is a lot more to do on cancer care. I am not satisfied with the results but we will deliver that care for people.”

“We are not there. We have had to go to the United States and retain a private clinic to deliver cancer care to people. We shouldn’t have to do that. We took that step to ensure that people got care in a timely fashion. The health minister is doing significant work with the BC Cancer Agency to restructure so that they are able to deliver this care.”

He adds the Ministry of Health, led by Adrian Dix is hiring radiation technologists to deliver better care while people living in more rural and remote settings will see increased funding for Hope Air.

The Canadian Cancer Society and Hope Air have each received $10 million to expand their travel programs and support cancer patients.

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