EverWind Fuels gains funding

Feds lending Cape Breton green hydrogen developer $125 million

AARON BESWICK SALTWIRE abeswick@herald.ca @chronicleherald



SaltWire Network



PORT HAWKESBURY — EverWind Fuels and the Canada Export Bank have an “agreement in principle” on a $125-million loan between the federal government and the green hydrogen developer. No details on the terms of the loan, such as the interest rate or its term, were available at the news conference from Port Hawkesbury on Friday afternoon. “Right now, there’s an agreement in principle, there’s going to be due diligence completed before its officially signed off on,” said Central Nova MP Sean Fraser. “… Typically, (that happens) when you’re dealing with a new industry where the government is willing to take the risk that individual financial institutions might not be familiar with. “The other advantage to using (the Canada Export Bank) is that they’re paired with our international partners and are able to help facilitate deals that in this case will have Germany producing some of the equipment and supplies that will help generate electricity.” EverWind Fuels bought the former NuStar Transshipment terminal at Point Tupper on the Strait of Canso for $72 million in 2022. It is seeking to turn into North America’s commercial scale green hydrogen/ammonia production and export facility. It has offtake agreements with two German utilities. This spring, EverWind bought the Windy Ridge windfarm project in Colchester County and a 49 per cent stake in two other projects (Bear Lake and Kmtnuk) that are primarily owned by Membertou First Nation. CONSTRUCTION WILL BEGIN ‘SOON’ If built, they will have a combined capacity of 530 megawatts — enough to supply most of the electricity EverWind anticipates needing to power Phase 1 of its green hydrogen/ammonia facility. The company plans to build a large solar array next to the facility as well. EverWind CEO Trent Vichie said Friday that the site has been cleared for the $3-billion project and that construction will begin “soon.” The company received environmental approval last spring. Asked about accessing private capital to build the project, Vichie said, “There’s more than an appetite — pension funds, institutional investors around the world want to be investing in the energy transition. What’s actually lacking is projects that are ready to take their investment.” Membertou, Paq’tnkek and Potlotek First Nations are all equity partners in the project. Membertou Chief Terry Paul declined to say how big of a stake they have in the facility itself. He and Paqtn’kek Chief Cory Julian held out the business partnership as an example of economic reconciliation. “This project, supported by our communities, and now by the Canadian government, provides an opportunity to create long-lasting environmentally sustainable prosperity for the region,” said Chief Paul. “We look forward to continuing to grow our partnership and develop a clean future for our grandchildren.”