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Carbon capture-biofuel plant planned for Merritt

Green jobs promised for plant that turns CO2 and hydrogen into green fuel
New plant will use Carbon Engineering's direct air capture. | Submitted

A licensing partner of Carbon Engineering will build Canada’s first direct-air carbon capture and green hydrogen plant for the production ofcarbon-neutral fuel in Merritt.

The plant will be the green equivalent of an oil refinery, except the marine, aviation and diesel fuel it will make will be from green hydrogen and CO2 captured from the atmosphere. It will be the first of its kind in Canada, and promises to be a big job creator.

Huron Clean Energy, a partnership that includes Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Carbon Engineering, will finance the project, with a bit of help from the B.C. government, which is kicking in $2 million from its Clean Energy Fund.

The project is expected to create 620 direct jobs for the project’s design and development, 4,780 jobs during construction, and 340 ongoing jobs for the plant’s operation, accordingf to a B.C. government news release.

Huron Clean Energy’s Merritt Electro Fuels plant in Merritt will use Carbon Engineering’s direct air capture technology to capture CO2 from the air, and use hydrogen produced from water and BC Hydro electricity to make a drop-in fuel that can displace diesel, marine fuel and aviation fuels.

Producing 103 million litres of green fuel will require a massive amount of electricity -- 315 megawatts – to run the direct air capture plant and produce 35,200 tonnes green hydrogen from water using electrolysis.

“The Merritt Electro Fuels Project advances made-in-B.C. technology to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and convert it into clean fuels,," Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low-Carbon Innovation, said in a press release.

“This innovative, world-leading project will support our economy͛’s shift away from fossil fuels while creating new jobs and opportunities for British Columbians.”

Huron Clean Energy will finance, design, build and operate the plant. Huron Clean Energy is a partnership that includes the venture capital arm of Occidental Petroleum (Oxy Low Carbon Ventures), Carbon Engineering, the Macquarie Group, the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and Upper Nicola Band.

"When we launched our Clean BC plan in 2018, we committed to making our fuel cleaner, by increasing the low carbon fuel standard from 10% to 20% by 2030 and increasing the supply of ... low carbon transportation fuels," Ralston said at a press conference this morning."

Ralston said the plant could be commissioned and in production as early as 2025.

More to come

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