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Nikola and KeyState partner to create low-carbon hydrogen value chain in PA

Nikola Corporation and KeyState Natural Gas Synthesis, a clean hydrogen and chemicals production facility under development, are working together to create Pennsylvania’s first low-carbon hydrogen production value chain, which includes full integration of commercial carbon capture and storage.

The KeyState Natural Gas Synthesis Plant proposed for Clinton County would use fracked gas from the Utica and Marcellus shale formations as a feedstock and power source for the onsite manufacturing of blue hydrogen, ammonia fertilizer, methanol, and diesel exhaust treatment.

The project is intended to represent the transition to lower emissions transportation, chemicals and manufacturing. The parties are working towards a definitive agreement to expand the hydrogen supply for Nikola’s zero-emissions heavy-duty fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs).

KeyState plans to supply Nikola with up to 100 metric-tons per day of low-carbon hydrogen, which can supply fuel for up to 2,500 Nikola Tre FCEVs and will displace more than 51,000,000 gallons of fossil diesel fuel per annum consumed. Once operational in 2026, the 7,000 plus-acre KeyState site is expected to have the capacity to store the CO2 associated with the hydrogen production and will provide strategic reach and access to premium Mid-Atlantic FCEV markets.

KeyState will also produce ammonia and urea for industrial and transportation markets, in addition to Nikola’s hydrogen mobility demand.

The KeyState project is expected to integrate carbon capture from high-efficiency autothermal reforming (ATR) with onsite geological carbon sequestration and onsite close-system sourced natural gas feedstock, all while generating zero-carbon electricity. A carbon circle will be completed, with the separation of 99% of carbon from the hydrogen in methane and returning this CO2 to deep underground onsite geological storage.

KeyState has developed a replicable model for low carbon, low-cost hydrogen at large scale production. This project will have multi-county, multi-generation, economic impact and job creation in a formerly booming Pennsylvania coal and rail region, demonstrating that unprecedented emissions reduction and great long-term job creation are both possible.

—Perry Babb, CEO of project developer KeyState Energy

In addition to working toward the hydrogen supply agreement, the parties are working together to develop a liquefaction solution to support the economic and efficient distribution of hydrogen from the project to Nikola’s planned refueling network under development. The parties also plan to support an application as a principal project of the DOE Hydrogen Hub Program representing the full-use hydrogen ecosystem from production through demand.

KeyState Natural Gas Synthesis is a joint endeavor between KeyState Energy (Project Developer) and Frontier Natural Resources Inc. (Natural Gas & Geological Storage) in partnership with OGCI Climate Investments. KSNGS will produce low-carbon hydrogen, automotive-grade urea (DEF) and ammonia from natural gas while integrating carbon capture and storage in a closed carbon loop in its 7,000-acre site in northern Pennsylvania.


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