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FORT NELSON, B.C. – Fort Nelson First Nation and Hydrogen Naturally Inc. are looking to create a hydrogen facility in the Northern Rockies.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the two stakeholders claim the $1.2 billion facility will produce up to 1 million tonnes of hydrogen and remove more than 20 million tonnes of carbon from the atmosphere over 50 years.

The hydrogen facility will be located on the former OSB and plywood plant sites within FNFN’s traditional territory.

With the partnership, Chief Sharleen Gale says there is an opportunity to explore how the first nation can assist with pushing the hydrogen economy forward in B.C. while supporting the clean energy transition.

“Our Nation is planning for a diversified economy in the territory, which includes vibrant and sustainable forestry and clean energy sector,” said Gale.

“As Fort Nelson First Nation considers economic development options, true ownership is necessary, allowing our Nation to plan opportunities for future generations.”

The hydrogen facility will use proven natural direct air carbon capture and storage methods to process harvest residuals that are not used for high-value solid wood products into carbon-negative hydrogen, known as Bright Green Hydrogen, explains the release.

Similar facilities are located in Quebec and Japan, but this would be the first in B.C.

At the same time, value-adding forestry opportunities are also being considered.

“Not only will H2N produce carbon-negative hydrogen with the manufacture of Bright Green Hydrogen, in partnership with Fort Nelson First Nation, we will also provide stable, long-term forestry jobs and a local market for residual fibre,” said Ian MacGregor, executive chairman for Hydrogen Naturally.

Peak Renewables and North West Capital Partners are the founders of H2N.

Last year, Peak acquired Canfor’s forest tenure and mill assets in Fort Nelson.

The announcement was made on April 26th at the First Nations Major Project Coalition ‘Towards Net Zero by 2050 Conference’ in Vancouver, B.C.

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Shailynn Foster

Shailynn Foster is a news reporter for Shailynn has been writing since she was 7 years old, but only recently started her journey as a journalist. Shailynn was born and raised in Fort St. John and she watches way too much YouTube, Netflix and Disney+ during the week while playing DND on the weekends.