Today, Trigon proudly serves coal producers from across western Canada. We believe coal, in particular steelmaking or metallurgical coal, which is an essential ingredient in steel production, will remain in demand for many years to come. But thermal coal exports from Canada are due to be phased out in 2030.
That means big change within a short time for our terminal, and we are determined to meet this challenge by diversifying our business. Our vision is to handle a wider range of commodities that are exported from Canada today, as well as emerging lower-carbon alternatives. We are transforming our terminal to support these efforts, and to safeguard the skilled union jobs and other economic benefits we generate within our community and for those who rely on our terminal.
To achieve our diversification goals, we have been exploring repurposing existing infrastructure and developed land that can be repurposed with the phasing out of thermal coal exports, as well as developing Trigon lands that are current undeveloped or not in active use.
As we work to diversify the commodities handled at our terminal, we are also advancing construction of our Berth Two Beyond Carbon Project, which is scheduled for completion in Winter 2024. B2BC may handle a diversity of commodities, but is intended largely as a platform for low-carbon Canadian energy exports.
Hydrogen, for example, has great potential as a future fuel. Not only can it be cleanly produced, but it emits no carbon when burned. And it will meet energy needs that electricity alone is unlikely to be able to. It’s been projected that hydrogen and hydrogen-based fuels will account for 10% of global energy consumption by 2050.
Hydrogen, however, is challenging to transport, so in the near-term, the “hydrogen economy” will likely depend on producing and shipping ammonia – an easier to handle combination of hydrogen and nitrogen. Think of it as “hydrogen-as-ammonia”.
Ammonia is already shipped globally in large volumes, using existing rail infrastructure and operational expertise. Hydrogen can either be extracted from ammonia after shipment, or ammonia has the potential to be used as a clean-burning fuel itself.
With construction of B2BC well-underway, Trigon has an important head start on developing infrastructure designed with ammonia and hydrogen in mind. We are ideally positioned between key producing regions in Alberta and northeast British Columbia, and the Asian markets where ammonia demand is fast emerging.