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N.B. premier to speak at global hydrogen summit in Europe


New Brunswick’s premier will promote the province’s development of hydrogen, natural gas, and small modular reactors at a global hydrogen conference in Europe next week.

Blaine Higgs will speak at the World Hydrogen Summit and Exhibition in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on Wednesday.

Higgs told reporters in Fredericton on Friday he expected to give his presentation to about 8.000 delegates from over 100 countries, with a focus of New Brunswick being well positioned to serve as “Canada’s energy gateway to Europe.”

Representatives from the Belledune Port Authority will also attend the Rotterdam summit.

Last August, the Belledune Port Authority announced an agreement in principle with Cross River Infrastructure Partners to develop the production of ‘green hydrogen.’ A facility could come online by 2027, pending assessment outcomes, according to the port authority.

“In terms of hydrogen production, it’s going to have to be basically supplied by renewables whether it be wind farms, solar,” said Higgs. “There could be some traditional supply, but it is going to need an extensive renewable source.”

Michelle Robichaud, president of the Saint John, N.B.-based Atlantica Centre for Energy, said New Brunswick’s green hydrogen bid would appeal to Europe’s current demand for renewable energy sources.

“The clean part of hydrogen could also include SMRs,” said Robichaud. “So the fact that we could use our small modular reactors for another purpose is definitely something that’s really positive for our region.”

“With hydrogen, when you burn it or use it, there’s no carbon emitted into the atmosphere. But in order to create it in a way that’s clean you need that renewable source.”

After the Rotterdam conference, the provincial government delegation will stop in Paris for meetings at the France-Canada Chamber of Commerce, and the Canadian Embassy where New Brunswick has a permanent representative.

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