Federal government delivers $9.7 million to support Alberta jobs, hydrogen industry

The federal government delivered nearly $10 million Tuesday to support Alberta's growing hydrogen industry.

The federal money is expected to support 1,600 jobs by improving access to hydrogen fuels, supporting product testing, attracting investment and providing more training for Alberta workers.

“We know that this is a growing area of the Alberta economy,'' said Dan Vandal, minister in charge of Prairies Economic Development Canada, which delivered the funding.

“Alberta will always be an energy powerhouse and we're doing our best to make sure that the new technologies that are greener will help maintain and sustain good quality jobs.''

The announcement came as Alberta's United Conservative Party government criticized the federal Liberals for wanting to phase out oilpatch jobs without plans to replace them.

Federal Tourism Minister Randy Boissonnault, an Edmonton MP who was at the announcement, said Canada could see up to $50 billion invested in hydrogen in the future, with the bulk of that going to Alberta.

The federal announcement, along with $3 million from the province, will be used to promote Edmonton as a hydrogen hub and draw foreign investment. The money is to also create a database of businesses ready to move into the hydrogen supply chain.

It will also make hydrogen fuel for heavy vehicles more available and improve testing for its infrastructure.

The 1,600 jobs the money is to support will be mostly in Edmonton, the site of the province's hydrogen centre of excellence and of more than two dozen hydrogen and hydrogen-related projects in development. Edmonton Global, one of the agencies receiving Tuesday's funding, says it has supported 28 final investment decisions into the Edmonton region representing more than $2.4 billion in investment and the creation of more than 3,500 jobs since 2018.

In a release, Service Alberta Minister Dale Nally said: “As the largest hydrogen producer in Canada, we are ready to do our part to help meet demand within Canada and around the world.''

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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