AtkinsRéalis awarded engineering contract for Quebec hydrogen project

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AtkinsRéalis has been awarded a front-end engineering and design services contract by TESCanada H2 Inc. for a major initiative in Quebec that aims to produce up to 70,000 tonnes of clean hydrogen per year.

Known as Project Mauricie, the hydrogen will be used to decarbonize industrial processes and heavy transportation in Quebec. Expected to be one of the largest clean hydrogen projects in Canada, its purpose-built renewable power generation will include wind and solar farms totalling 1,000 MW, when commissioned in 2028. 

The hydrogen can be used as a source of clean fuel for steel mills, cement plants and other industries currently using natural gas. Additionally, it can be used as a zero emission energy source for fuel cell vehicles.

“Green hydrogen offers an effective solution to decarbonize heavy industrial processes and long-haul transportation as well as other sectors that are not suitable to direct electrification,” announced Stéphanie Vaillancourt, Canadian president of AtkinsRéalis, formerly SNC-Lavalin Group Inc. “We are excited to see our Canadian business positioned as a leader in hydrogen, having undertaken a significant portfolio of this work globally.”

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Based in Montreal, TES Canada is developing green hydrogen production projects in different regions of the country. The project with AtkinsRéalis will develop the new hydrogen plant in Quebec’s Mauricie region.

TES Canada says Project Mauricie represents a $4 billion investment for the region with the construction of an electrolyzer and a renewable energy production park. It will also contribute to achieving 3% of the province’s greenhouse gas reduction targets by 2030, the company stated.

“We are proud to develop this important project in Mauricie, the cradle of renewable electricity in Quebec,” Éric Gauthier, general manager of TESCanada H2 Inc., announced in a statement. “The region, at the heart of the Energy Transition Valley, offers numerous advantages for transporting hydrogen to Quebec users. The economic benefits will be significant for Shawinigan and the Mauricie region and will allow Quebec to position itself as a leader in decarbonization,” he added.

Despite the project’s promises of generating green hydrogen, the prospect of a large wind and solar farm in the largely rural region has also generated its fair share of controversy from local residents. A number of those in the area are concerned about the scale of the operation, which could involve as many as 140 wind turbines, and the potential impact on nearby farms.

In recent community meetings about the project, TES Canada pointed to literature from Quebec’s chief scientist on the issue of wind turbines, which states that claims of infrasound and electromagnetic fields generated by wind turbines “do not stand up well to examination of the facts.”

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