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Charbone Hydrogen


Charbone Hydrogen (TSXV:CH,OTCQB:CHHYF,FWB:K47) is the only publicly listed green hydrogen firm in Canada looking to expand across North America (US and Canada) with a pipeline of new projects. This is an opportune time for Charbone as the world races to find effective solutions to meet its net-zero ambitions by 2050. Green hydrogen could be a perfect fit as a potentially low-emitting fuel source. There is an increasing realization of the potential of hydrogen in serving as a low-emissions substitute for fossil fuels in residential as well as industrial use cases.

The Government of Canada has laid out its hydrogen policy, aiming to meet nearly 30 percent of its energy requirement in 2050 by hydrogen, as well as become one of the top three clean hydrogen producers globally. The presence of abundant hydroelectric power, favorable government policies, and a progressive tax regime should boost hydrogen production in the country. The 2023 federal budget includes more than $17 billion in tax credits over the next five years to help fund clean energy projects, including hydrogen.

Source: IRENA – Geopolitics of energy transformation: the hydrogen factor

The US Department of Energy expects to produce 10 million metric tons (MMT) of hydrogen annually by 2030 and eventually reach 50 MMT by 2050. According to US Deputy Secretary of Energy David Turk, 50 MMT of hydrogen could power every bus, train, plane and ship in the US. This is the scale of hydrogen production the government is aiming to achieve. This would imply massive investments in creating the infrastructure to support production. The US government’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law sets aside $9.5 billion in total funding, including $8 billion for creating 10 regional hydrogen hubs and $1.5 billion in additional funding for other support.

Charbone stands to benefit from rapid adoption of hydrogen as an alternative to fossil fuels. Moreover, Charbone’s focus solely on “green hydrogen” should further its position among investors looking for opportunities to invest in sustainable energy solutions. Green hydrogen is produced when the energy used to power electrolysis comes from renewable sources like wind, water, solar or nuclear. Charbone has clearly stated its intentions to leverage hydropower and nuclear energy to produce hydrogen.

Company Highlights

Charbone Hydrogen is a Canada-based producer of green hydrogen, and is the only publicly listed green hydrogen producer in Canada.The company aims to develop a pipeline of 16 green hydrogen projects across the US and Canada. Of which, the first facility at Sorel-Tracy (Quebec, Canada) is under construction and is expected to be production-ready in mid-2024. The company will leverage hydropower and nuclear energy to produce green hydrogen which will allow it to control production costs while lowering emissions. Energy costs remain a significant portion of hydrogen production and the ability to lower these costs will make Charbone’s offering more competitive.Charbone has developed several strategic partnerships aimed at strengthening its position in the hydrogen market. This includes a construction agreement with EBC, a supply agreement with NEK Community Broadband, and an MOU with Oakland County for the development of the first green hydrogen plant in the US. Charbone is well positioned to participate in the rise of green hydrogen as a potential low-emitting alternative to fossil fuels.

Project Pipeline and Key Partnerships

The company plans to construct 16 hydrogen projects across North America (six in Canada and 10 in the US) over the next four years. The first of which is under construction at Sorel-Tracy in Quebec, which is expected to be production-ready by mid-2024. The Sorel-Tracy facility is located on a 40,000-square-meter land parcel along Quebec Highway 30. The highway is known as the “Steel Highway” because of the numerous steel mills and process plants operating along the highway.

The construction of Phase 1 of its Sorel-Tracy facility is being done in partnership with EBC, one of the largest construction companies in Quebec. EBC has a proven track record of designing and building facilities in Canada and the US. The partnership agreement gives EBC the right of first refusal to construct additional Sorel-Tracy phases, as well as one or all of Charbone’s facilities within the North American market.

In addition, Charbone has entered into several other strategic partnerships all aimed to expand its footprint in North America.

Superior Plus

This partnership allows Charbone to sell hydrogen produced at the Sorel-Tracy facility to Superior Propane, a subsidiary of Superior Plus. Such supply agreements ensure that Charbone can generate cash flow immediately following the commencement of production.

NEK Community Broadband

Another such supply agreement was signed in November 2023 with NEK Community Broadband, which ensures the supply of green hydrogen in the Northeast Kingdom of the state of Vermont (USA). NEK Broadband is building a high-speed broadband infrastructure and plans to install a hydrogen fuel cell backup system for a reliable power supply.

Oakland County Economic Development Department, Michigan

Further advancing its goal of US expansion, Charbone signed a memorandum of understanding in December 2023 with Michigan’s Oakland County Economic Development Department to set up Charbone’s first green hydrogen facility in the United States. Oakland County is home to major automakers, and a green hydrogen facility in their proximity will support the effort of producing environmentally friendly mobility options.

Being the only publicly listed green hydrogen player in Canada, Charbone offers investors a unique opportunity to participate in the rise of green hydrogen as a potential low-emitting alternative to fossil fuels.

Management Team

Dave Gagnon – Chairman and CEO

Dave Gagnon has been chairman and chief executive officer of Charbone Hydrogen Corporation since April 21, 2022. He has been a climate tech entrepreneur for the last 25 years, and was the first entrepreneur in Canada to start a wind turbine company and offer a new alternative energy solution in North America. Gagnon also worked with an institutional investor that manages several public pension plans, Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, where he gained deep knowledge of the financial markets.

Benoit Veilleux – Chief Financial Officer

Benoit Veilleux was appointed as the CFO of Charbone on August 15, 2022. Veilleux has over 15 years of experience in corporate accounting and finance. He began his professional career at KPMG in 2003, where he managed and coordinated audit teams for public companies until 2010. Since then, he has worked with a number of companies including Air Liquide Canada and the Hypertec Group.

Daniell Charette – Chief Operating Officer

Daniell Charette has been the chief operating officer of Charbone since February 2019. He brings over 25 years of experience in running and managing renewable energy companies. He has worked in senior leadership roles with several renewable companies including NEG Micon A/S, Vestas and Brookfield Power. He has served on various association boards and councils, including the Canadian Wind Energy Association, Association Québécoise des Producteurs d’Énergie Renouvelable, and Latin Wind Energy Association.

Francois Vitez – Director

Francois Vitez is a hydropower and energy storage expert with more than 24 years of experience in the development, engineering and construction management as well as operations and maintenance of hydropower and energy storage projects in North America and internationally. He is a board member and chair of the Value of Hydropower committee at Waterpower Canada, vice-chair of the Energy Storage Association of Canada, board member of the California Energy Storage Association, and member of the International Hydropower Association.

This article was written in collaboration with Couloir Capital.

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