Alberta government TIER funding to establish hydrogen testing facility


EDMONTON, Alberta – Hydrogen is recognized as a key component in transitioning to a lower carbon future. Key challenges include understanding the impact of hydrogen on existing infrastructure and equipment.

The Government of Alberta has announced a $1,375,000 investment delivered through Alberta Innovates’ TIER Economic Recovery Program to expand C-FER Technologies’ ability to conduct full-scale tests in hydrogen-rich environments. This funding will help advance commercial implementation of well and pipeline technologies for the hydrogen economy.

“C-FER will play a critical role in helping the global industry commercially adopt new technologies for hydrogen production, transportation and storage, while maintaining operational safety. Testing equipment at full-scale in a hydrogen-rich environment will provide industry with a better understanding of what may happen in a real-world application,” says Francisco Alhanati, Managing Director at C-FER. The innovative activities that we will be conducting right here in Alberta will lead the way for developing new protocols for qualifying materials for use with hydrogen and hydrogen-natural gas blends for the global energy industry.”

“Clean hydrogen represents an enormous opportunity for our province to diversify the energy sector while leveraging our existing strengths, and our innovators are conducting research and developing the technologies that we need to turn this opportunity into reality. Alberta is already the largest hydrogen producer in Canada, and with innovation like this, it’s clear now more than ever that we have the resources and expertise needed to become a major global supplier of this emerging resource,” says Doug Schweitzer, Minister of Jobs, Economy and Innovation.

“Through the TIER program, we’re developing clean technology solutions and demonstrating how we can diversify or improve energy products. Hydrogen technologies will play a big part of the coming energy transition, and C-FER Technologies will be helping to find how to make hydrogen a fuel of today, and tomorrow,” says Laura Kilcrease, CEO of Alberta Innovates.

Combined with industry support, the funding of this project will complete the construction of an automated testing system designed to investigate the impact of hydrogen on pipelines. Traditionally, smalls-scale tests are completed to qualify hydrogen products, but they often fail to capture the full impact of hydrogen in operating environments. C-FER’s new facility enables demonstration tests that evaluate materials and products in simulated, real-world conditions at scale.

C-FER is developing testing programs with pipeline operators and pipe manufacturers from around the world to help develop new industry standards and new technologies specifically for hydrogen pipelines.

Completing the system construction and commissioning, and conducting demonstration tests are expected to be completed by mid-2022.

Related Information
Supporting the Hydrogen Industry
Full-scale Hydrogen Testing of Line Pipe
Hydrogen Technology Challenges
Assessing Indoor and Residential Risk
Marine Transportation of Hydrogen
Legacy Pipeline Compatibility with Hydrogen Joint Industry Project

Alberta Innovates received a $50 million funding commitment over three years from the Alberta government’s industry-funded TIER system for delivering through Alberta Innovates’ TIER Economic Recovery Program. Alberta Innovates’ program supports energy and cleantech projects that accelerate innovation, support long-term competitiveness and stimulate growth in critically important sectors of Alberta’s economy.

About C-FER Technologies
C-FER is a not-for-profit, fee-for-service subsidiary of Alberta Innovates. For over 35 years, we have helped our clients tackle their biggest technical challenges to improve safety, operational efficiency, and environmental performance. C-FER provides full-scale experimental testing and specialized engineering assessment services from its world-class facilities in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

About Alberta Innovates
Alberta Innovates is the province’s largest and Canada’s first provincial research and innovation agency. For a century we have worked closely with researchers, companies and entrepreneurs – trailblazers who built industries and strengthened communities. Today we are pivoting to the next frontier of opportunity in Alberta and worldwide by driving emerging technologies across sectors. We are a provincial corporation delivering seed funding, business advice, applied research and technical services, and avenues for partnership and collaboration.

Learn how Alberta Innovates.

About the TIER Fund
This investment through Alberta Innovates is part of government’s $750 million spend from the TIER fund and other public funding to support up to 8,700 jobs, inject $1.9 billion into Alberta’s economy, and cut about 6 million tonnes of emissions each year. This investment is in direct response to the unprecedented economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and low oil prices.


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