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B.C. gives $4M towards hydrogen-powered clean transportation at B.C. ports

June 6, 2023  By Government of B.C.

British Columbia’s difficult-to-decarbonize commercial transportation sector is getting a hydrogen-powered boost toward the clean-transportation economy.

The province is providing $4 million to support the BC Hydrogen Ports Project (BCH2 Ports Project), one of the first of its kind in Canada.

“We’re working to reduce emissions in B.C.’s commercial transport sector, which accounts for about 60 per cent of transport emissions and 25 per cent of total provincial emissions,” said Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Josie Osborne. “Hydrogen will be essential in helping B.C. make the transition to cleaner energy solutions as we work toward meeting legislated greenhouse gas reduction targets.”

The BCH2 Ports Project is a collaboration between public and private sectors designed to showcase made-in-B.C. technology to support the province’s decarbonization goals. The BCH2 Ports Project is the province’s first large-scale project to use hydrogen and fuel cells in the shipping and transportation sectors.


Ports are typically high-emission sources of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants. This pilot project is estimated to reduce CO2 emissions by 110 kilo tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year – the amount of energy used annually by about 21,400 homes.

The Canadian consortium of companies behind the project is led by HTEC, a clean-hydrogen production, distribution, dispensing and fleet-services company. The BCH2 Ports Project will feature HTEC’s higher-capacity fuelling station, initially serving heavy-duty hydrogen electric vehicles.

The hydrogen-fuelling station will be located at a Parkland Corporation cardlock site located on Tsawwassen First Nation land. HTEC will also be responsible for the clean hydrogen supply for the project.

In addition, the project will demonstrate four fuel-cell electric yard trucks, and two Class 8 drayage trucks that HTEC will lease to fleet operators. The fuel-cell electric trucks are being developed by Hexagon using its Type IV hydrogen-storage system and high-energy density Li-ion battery packs, and powered by Ballard’s innovative FCmove HD+ fuel-cell engine, designed specifically for heavy-duty mobility applications.

For the duration of the pilot project, expected to begin in early 2024, these HTEC vehicles will be operated by Harbour Link Container Services, Tidewater Container Services and BC Ferries Commercial Services, which then will operate throughout the Port of Vancouver.

“We are excited to partner with hydrogen-industry leaders to support the Province’s decarbonization targets,” said Colin Armstrong, president and CEO, HTEC. “Advancing low-carbon hydrogen projects, while deploying hydrogen electric heavy-duty vehicles and hydrogen-fuelling infrastructure to support them, will help propel the drive to a zero-emissions future. We hope that this project will pave the way for similar actions across Canada in the future and help the country reach its net-zero goals.”

Provincial funding for the project comes from two CleanBC programs aimed at encouraging industry to move to zero emission vehicles – the Commercial Vehicle Pilots program, and the Advanced Research and Commercialization program – in addition to significant investments from the consortium members.

Quick Facts:

  • B.C. is recognized internationally as a global leader in hydrogen and fuel-cell research and development.
  • More than 50 per cent of Canada’s hydrogen and fuel-cell companies are in B.C., and the province accounts for about 60 per cent of research investment in hydrogen and fuel-cell development.
  • Hydrogen has the potential to reduce the province’s emissions by 7.2 mega tonnes of carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2e) per year by 2050.
  • Approximately 70 per cent of B.C.’s end-use energy demand is met through fossil fuels, such as gasoline, diesel and natural gas.
  • Hydrogen will play an important role helping with the transition to clean-energy sources.

Click here for more info on B.C. Hydrogen Strategy.

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