Irving Oil to introduce hydrogen for the regional market – a first-of-its-kind investment from a Canadian refiner

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Saint John (NB) – Irving Oil announced plans today to expand its hydrogen capacity at the Saint John refinery, with the goal of offering hydrogen fueling infrastructure in Atlantic Canada, making the company the first to introduce hydrogen to the regional market. In formalizing an agreement to purchase a hydrogen electrolyzer, Irving Oil will be the first oil refinery in Canada, and one of the first in North America, to make such an investment in this type of clean energy solution.   

The company’s initial investment in a 5-megawatt electrolyzer, developed by New York hydrogen technology company Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG), is expected to be fully operational by late 2023, and will play a significant role in exploring further hydrogen production to drive emission reductions at the Saint John refinery, as well as clean energy solutions for downstream customers. Once fully operational, the electrolyzer will produce 2 tonnes of hydrogen per day – the equivalent to fueling 60 buses with hydrogen.

Today, the Irving Oil Saint John Refinery is the largest producer of hydrogen in Atlantic Canada and one of the largest producers in Canada – generating more than 200 tonnes of hydrogen per day, which is used to lower the sulphur content of petroleum products at the refinery. While currently, hydrogen at the facility is produced with natural gas, the hydrogen electrolyzer will create hydrogen using electricity from the local electricity grid. 

Irving Oil will continue to work diligently with stakeholders to shift its hydrogen production to low-carbon, or green, hydrogen in the future – with the investment of the electrolyzer as an important first step on this journey. This supports the company’s commitment to leadership through the energy transition, to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and to the development of more sustainable energy solutions.

“At Irving Oil, we believe that low-carbon hydrogen production, use and distribution will play an important role in our decarbonization journey,” said Irving Oil President Ian Whitcomb. “This foundational project will accelerate our company’s learning about hydrogen as a downstream product while creating a decarbonization pathway for our Saint John refinery.”

“True to the values that have guided our company for nearly 100 years, we are committed to taking concrete steps to evolve our business for tomorrow, to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and continuing to introduce new solutions to provide our customers with safe and reliable energy every day,” said Irving Oil Executive Vice President and Chief Brand Officer, Sarah Irving.

“Driven by our leading electrolyzer technology and unparalleled manufacturing capacity, we are honored that Irving Oil has chosen Plug to support their initial investment in hydrogen production and look forward to expanding the partnership,” said Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug.

The initial hydrogen electrolyzer investment is poised to contribute to Irving Oil’s objective of achieving a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. The company is committed to targeting industry solutions that will lower emissions and align with carbon reduction goals, while enhancing the opportunities for future development in Atlantic Canada and beyond.

Learn more about how Irving Oil is working to develop a more sustainable energy future: 2021 Report on Sustainability.

About Irving Oil:
Irving Oil is a family-owned and privately held international energy company. For nearly 100 years, our commitment to doing good business has been grounded in our commitment to people – to our employees, customers, communities and partners. Founded in 1924, our mission is focused on our continued evolution to meet the changing needs of our customers. Specializing in the refining and marketing of finished energy products, we operate Canada’s largest refinery in Saint John, New Brunswick, and Ireland’s only refinery located in the village of Whitegate. We proudly serve customers with more than 1,000 fueling locations and a network of distribution terminals spanning Eastern Canada, New England and in Ireland, operating under the Top brand. We are on a continuous journey of sustainable development, working to reduce our environmental footprint while continuing to provide safe and reliable energy to our customers. Named one of Canada’s Top 100 Employers for six consecutive years, we are proud of our team and our longstanding commitment to our customers and our communities. Learn more at

About Plug:
Plug is building an end-to-end green hydrogen ecosystem, from production, storage and delivery to energy generation, to help its customers meet their business goals and decarbonize the economy. In creating the first commercially viable market for hydrogen fuel cell technology, the company has deployed more than 50,000 fuel cell systems and over 165 fueling stations, more than anyone else in the world, and is the largest buyer of liquid hydrogen. With plans to build and operate a green hydrogen highway across North America and Europe, Plug is building a state-of-the-art Gigafactory to produce electrolyzers and fuel cells and multiple green hydrogen production plants that will yield 500 tons of liquid green hydrogen daily by 2025. Plug will deliver its green hydrogen solutions directly to its customers and through joint venture partners into multiple environments, including material handling, e-mobility, power generation, and industrial applications. For more information, visit

Media Contacts:

Katherine d’Entremont     
Irving Oil                
[email protected]

Caitlin Coffee 
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