Founded just over 18 months ago, EverWind Fuels (EverWind) has already established itself as the Canadian pioneer for green hydrogen and ammonia, harnessing the power of nature’s renewable resources and making significant contributions to the global energy transition. The company purchased a site in Nova Scotia, Canada and has since been working to develop its business and capabilities within the hydrogen space.
The facility was a large existing operation with close to a billion dollars of assets already in place, including seven and a half million barrels of storage and more than 100 people operating onsite. Additionally, the site has the crucial infrastructure for a scalable green fuels hub, including an operating port with capacity for 400,000 deadweight ton vessels, access through direct rail and road, and pipelines which run directly to the site. These existing assets helped the business to avoid around £400 million of capital expenditure during the early stages of the Point Tupper Green Hydrogen Project.
The focus of the project is converting the Point Tupper fuel storage facility into a green hydrogen production facility. This will help to develop the green economy in Nova Scotia, demonstrating the region’s leadership in progressing towards a more sustainable future with support from the government and local community. The facility, which is due to be ready for production by 2025, will be the first green ammonia production site in Atlantic Canada.
Green hydrogen is made through the process of water electrolysis, this is then processed into green ammonia for reasons of transport efficiency. Whilst green hydrogen is a very light element and difficult to compress or liquify, green ammonia is a very good, dense carrier of hydrogen and it can also be used in a gas turbine as direct fuel. Using ammonia as a fuel rather than having to re-crack this back into hydrogen improves efficiency and could have real benefits complementing the grid. There is also a large market for the use of ammonia, around 80 percent of which is used as agricultural fertilizer and the remainder within the chemical industry.
The project also involves the building of a two-gigawatt wind farm, the largest in the western hemisphere, which will be used to produce carbon-free green hydrogen made from 100 percent renewable resources. This is part of the second phase of the project which is being built on around 120,000 acres of Crown land in Guysborough County, just south of the Canso Strait. Over time, EverWind hopes to tap into the offshore wind resource in Nova Scotia, where average wind speeds reach 11 meters per second with capacity factors of around 60 percent. Here, there is around 100 gigawatts of viable real estate and this, in combination with the Canadian ITC, allows for huge potential scalability in this area.
Coming from an impressive career of more than 20 years in the infrastructure industry, EverWind’s CEO, Trent Vichie, sheds more light on the practical benefits of locating the project here: “Nova Scotia has, I’d say, one of the most favorable wind regimes in North America but, with only around one million residents, the local demand is relatively small compared to the available resources. What it has not had up until this point is a demand to justify the building of renewable assets, and so our facility and business here is designed to take vast amounts of renewable resources, some of the best in the world, and use them to make green hydrogen which is used to make green ammonia.”
He goes on to explain: “The CEO of BP made a comment that the true scale in green hydrogen is ultimately going to come from offshore wind. Nova Scotia could not be better placed than anywhere else in the world for this, due to the massive amount of real estate, and resources and we’re proximate to the northeast of the US with incredible marine infrastructure to access Europe.”
Working with a number of key partners on the project, EverWind has announced offtake MOUs with leading German energy companies E.ON and Uniper and has gained public support at all levels from the German Chancellor, the Canadian federal government, province of Nova Scotia, local communities, and first nations. The company is also working with a number of key suppliers including Black & Veatch as EPC contractors, a leading electrolyzer technology partner, and ammonia production support partners, as well as a world class team of financial advisors provided by Morgan Stanley and CIBC.
Support from local communities and first nation partners has also been incredibly important for the project’s progression, Trent explains: “We have first nation partners who have been absolutely amazing, particularly in Atlantic Canada; that is absolutely key. They have become great friends and they bring real perspective to the work we’re doing.”
EverWind received environmental approval from Canadian authorities, becoming RFNBO certified in February this year and will be producing RFNBO-compliant green ammonia. This means that the product the company makes comes entirely from renewable resources and meets the requirements of RFNBO. This is important because Europe has certain environmental standards, many of which will come into force in a material way in 2030 and will require hydrogen to come from RFNBO resources. In the long term, this will help to deliver cleaner, more direct environmental benefits and will be an important part of the global energy transition away from the use of upstream natural gas towards renewable resources.
Whilst EverWind’s big competitors are largely still at the concept stage on similar projects, Point Tupper is racing towards completion. This is largely due to the broad experience of the team, the available resources, advanced equipment, technical solutions and interconnected infrastructure sectors. Furthermore, the Canadian ITC, which was passed earlier this year, is a huge statement of support from the Canadian government and is an important step for levelling the playing field in response to the US IRA. This has made Canada a hugely attractive area for investing in projects of this kind, which is an important factor for building scalability. With scale come the benefits of efficiency, which is going to be crucial for unlocking the green hydrogen economy and ensuring growth in this area over time.
Looking to the future of the business, Trent explains: “The big focus for us is an early start, but then using that to deliver the most efficient solution. For example, electrolysers are fairly early in the market and with today’s technology they are 70-to-75 percent efficient in terms of the power conversion into hydrogen. But there are solutions rapidly coming to market that are closer to 90 percent efficient. This is critical for bringing down the cost of green products versus fossil fuels. If you think about wind power, when it started 15-to-20 years ago, it was frightfully expensive and today, it’s cheaper than fossil. We want to push forward aggressively on helping make that a reality.” The company is keen to expand its green fuels project in Labrador and Newfoundland, demonstrating an exciting and ambitious commitment towards creating a more sustainable future.