Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau (R) welcomes visiting German Chancellor Olaf Scholz before their meeting at the Montreal Science Centre to discuss energy trade – Copyright AFP/File HECTOR RETAMAL
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz on Monday met with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in Canada to firm up access to new energy supplies as his country moves to quickly end its reliance on Russian oil and gas.
At a joint news conference in Montreal on the first full day of his three-day visit, Scholz said Germany is rushing construction of liquid natural gas (LNG) ports infrastructure and pipelines to boost imports and is reaching out to other nations, like Canada, to increase their output.
Germany will need more liquid natural gas during its energy transition, he said, adding: “It is indispensable because we want to move away from our dependency of Russian gas supplies.”
Scholz is also eyeing future Canadian hydrogen exports. On Tuesday the two leaders, along with a sizeable business delegation, are to tour a proposed site in Newfoundland province for hydrogen production.
Trudeau touted Canada as “a reliable supplier of the clean energy that a net-zero (emissions) world requires.”
But he downplayed the likelihood of direct LNG shipments from Canada to Germany, citing the long distance from Western Canada gas fields to Atlantic ports for shipping overseas.
“We’re exploring ways to see if it makes sense to export LNG, and if there’s a business case for it to export (LNG) directly to Europe,” Trudeau told reporters.
In the meantime, he and Scholz hinted at a major hydrogen deal to be announced on Tuesday.
“We’re moving forward on a range of investments around hydrogen and look forward to speaking about that more tomorrow,” Trudeau said.
Scholz explained that Germany has bet on hydrogen to help it get to a net-zero economy, and said “Canada will play a tremendously important role in developing green hydrogen in the future.”
“It can become one of the big powers in supplying green hydrogen to many industrialized nations,” he said, referring to the use of renewables such as wind power to make hydrogen.
The two leaders are also scheduled to discuss business opportunities in the automotive and critical minerals mining sectors, and support for Ukraine, including its eventual post-war reconstruction.