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Greenfield Global and Hy2Gen Canada reveal Quebec green hydrogen JV plans

Greenfield Global Inc., Canada’s largest ethanol producer, and Hy2Gen Canada Inc., a subsidiary of Germany-headed Hy2gen AG, a first-mover for commercial production and distribution of green hydrogen, have announced their intention to create a joint venture (JV) that will develop and operate a facility in Varennes, Québec (QC) for "industrial-scale" production of green hydrogen and other zero-carbon energy products.

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Aerial view of the Greenfield Global Varennes biorefinery in Quebec, Canada (photo courtesy Greenfield Global).
Greenfield Global operates the first ethanol plant built in Quebec, Canada. In operation since 2007, the Varennes biorefinery is, the company says, a “model for water and energy efficiency” producing ethanol with the lowest carbon intensity ethanol in Canada, as well as corn oil and distillers’ grain. Together with Hy2Gen Canada, the plan is to set up a joint venture to produce hydrogen, biomethane, and methanol using carbon dioxide from the biorefinery (photo courtesy Greenfield Global).

According to a statement, the partnership will use the strengths of both companies to produce and deploy 100 percent carbon-free green hydrogen in the Greater Montréal area as well as expansion to fast-growing international markets.

The companies are completing conditions and terms with Greenfield Global and H2yGen each owning 50 percent, and its governance will be composed of representatives from both companies.

Greenfield Global and Hy2gen Canada coming together is driven by our shared values and mission to reduce the impacts of fossil fuels by providing the greenest, most sustainable energy products for our customers, communities, and ultimately, the health of the planet, said Howard Field, President, and CEO of Greenfield Global.

Co-located with existing biorefinery

The joint venture will build a facility in Varennes, Québec, adjacent to Greenfield’s existing ethanol biorefinery. The new facility will use the latest electrolysis technologies powered by hydroelectricity.

The final products of the joint venture (green hydrogen, biomethane, and biomethanol) will reach the standard of zero carbon footprint and zero greenhouse gas (GHG) by using the green carbon dioxide (CO2) from Greenfield’s biorefinery.

The joint venture facility will be built at 30 MW and expanded to meet demand with a possible scale-up to 80 MW in 2024.

The demand for green hydrogen is increasing vertiginously, however, the commercial market is still at an embryonic stage. Our green hydrogen and hydrogen-based production at competitive prices and our networks will allow us to reach across the different sectors including the hard-to-abate ones. With low switching costs, the clients will realize that it is very possible to reduce the impacts environmental crisis by using our products. Our team has proven experience of developing, building and operating plants and our vision has been supported by market leaders in the global commodities industry said Cyril Dufau-Sansot, CEO, Hy2Gen.

Green hydrogen can be used in industrial, transportation, and mobility sectors, as well as energy property solutions. The new Varennes facility will help deploy clean, sustainable hydrogen in Montréal, and position Québec to be a world leader in green hydrogen production.

Québec is an ideal location to establish carbon-free hydrogen production given its abundant hydroelectricity and the strong government commitment to reducing greenhouse gases. Greenfield operates the first and only ethanol plant built in Québec and produces the lowest carbon intensity ethanol in Canada. Our vision, from the onset, is to expand our operations and expertise to help develop a hydrogen hub in the Greater Montréal area that is capable of expansion into fast-growing markets in North America, Europe, and Asia, said Jean Roberge, EVP and Managing Director of Renewable Energy, Greenfield Global.

Montréal International, Greater Montréal’s economic promotion agency, has been working to attract this new major player in the region.

The hydrogen energy industry is gaining interest all over the world. Using the driving force of water to produce renewable energy, we have developed a solid reputation and stand apart from other North American regions. The use of hydroelectricity, with its stable rates, low carbon emissions and no pollution rights to trade, has played a key role in the decision of Greenfield Global and Hy2Gen Canada to invest in the region, said Stéphane Paquet, Vice President, Foreign Investments and International Organizations, Montréal International.

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