Hydrogen plant possible in St. Clair Township

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A St. Clair Township company is considering building its own hydrogen ready power plant, in part to provide a cleaner fuel source for its power plant.

Eastern Power has started an Environmental Review on the site of the Greenfield South Power Corporation facility on Oil Springs Line. Brendan Holbein, Eastern Power’s environmental manager, says hydrogen “is an alternative energy carrier… to use in place of fossil fuels to reduce the carbon footprint” which “is becoming a growing possibility with a bright looking future.”

Many of Lambton’s petrochemical companies already produce it, including Nova Chemicals, CF Industries and Imperial Oil.

But Holbein says this project could reduce the environmental impact of the natural gas power plant.
“We look at hydrogen as a good way to switch over to cleaner fuels, carbon cleaner fuels… Hot natural gas is pretty clean otherwise, but it’s fossil and there’s carbon emissions.”

Holbein says if the studies point them in the right direction, construction could start in 2023.

He didn’t have an estimate on the cost of the plant but did say a facility of that size could create between 15 and 20 jobs once it is up and running.

Sarnia-Lambton Economic Development has been promoting the region as a Hydrogen Hub, hoping the province will give the region the designation. Officials add the province and the feds need to create policies to grow the industry.