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Controversial wind-powered hydrogen project gets final approval in Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa on July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld Newfoundland and Labrador's provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa on July 6, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -

A controversial wind-powered hydrogen development proposed for the west coast of Newfoundland has cleared its last hurdle with the provincial government.

The Newfoundland and Labrador government announced today it has approved the environmental impact assessment submitted by World Energy GH2 for its plan to erect two 164-turbine wind farms and an ammonia production plant in and around Stephenville, N.L.

The company, led by Atlantic Canadian seafood mogul John Risley, says it is vying to become the country's first commercial producer of green hydrogen and ammonia.

The federal government has already promised $128 million in loans to help the project along.

Some residents in the area oppose the project, saying it will harm an ecologically significant part of the province.

The project has also been criticized because of Premier Andrew Furey's close ties with World Energy GH2's directors, including Risley and Brendan Paddick, who was a director of the province's former Crown energy corporation, and whom Furey describes as his best friend.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 9, 2024.

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