Eskasoni First Nation Chief Leroy Denny, centre-left, and Bear Head Energy Managing Director Paul MacLean sign a Memorandum of Understanding to cooperate on Bear Head’s proposed green hydrogen and ammonia production, storage, and loading facility.Mitchell Ferguson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

SYDNEY — Bear Head Energy, Inc. and Eskasoni First Nation have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to develop a green hydrogen and ammonia production facility in Tui’knek/Point Tupper, Richmond County.

The MOU states their commitment to pursuing economic opportunities while protecting the land and water. Eskasoni and Bear Head Energy will work together to ensure meaningful community involvement in the energy project and potential business ventures.

Chief Leroy Denny of Eskasoni stressed the importance of responsible economic growth and environmental protection through collaboration with Bear Head Energy.

“Working collaboratively with industry on sustainable developments is not only important for economic growth, but it allows us to build capacity within our community and protect and steward the land and water for future generations,” said Denny. 

In July 2023, Bear Head and Nova Scotia Mi’kmaw Chiefs amended their 2019 agreement to prioritize environmentally sustainable development and Mi’kmaq inclusion, participation, and benefits. Denny said Eskasoni’s partnership with Bear Head Energy Inc. is one of respect for each other and the environment.

“Our partnership with Bear Head Energy is based on mutual respect and a shared commitment to environmental responsibility and we look forward to working together to create lasting benefits for our community and the region,” said Denny.

The project expects to produce up to two million tonnes of green ammonia annually for export to markets around the world. Bear Head Energy is a subsidiary of BAES Infrastructure, an energy company whose focus is on developing energy transition projects.

Paul MacLean, managing director of Bear Head Energy, emphasized their dedication to working with Mi’kmaw communities.

“Fostering meaningful relationships with Mi’kmaw communities is important to developing a sustainable project,” MacLean said. “By working collaboratively with Eskasoni First Nation, we can ensure that our project benefits rightsholders and respects the cultural, environmental, and social values of the land and its people.”

The project, announced in 2022, received environmental assessment approval in April 2023, making Bear Head one of North America’s few fully permitted green hydrogen production sites.

Mitchell Ferguson is a Local Journalism Initiative reporter covering Indigenous affairs for Cape Breton Post.

By Mitchell Ferguson, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Original Published on Sep 12, 2023 at 05:31

This item reprinted with permission from   Cape Breton Post   Sydney, Nova Scotia
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