Jordan Blum, editorial director, Hart Energy: We are here at Hart Energy's DUG Appalachia Conference in Pittsburgh. I'm joined by Nav Behl, the chief operating officer for CNX Resources. So CNX is diving into hydrogen in the Appalachia region. Can I get you to elaborate on the ARCH2 [Appalachian Regional Clean] Hydrogen Hub and its importance?

Navneet Behl: The ARCH2 hydrogen hub is one of the seven hydrogen hubs being developed for jump-starting the hydrogen economy in the country, and CNX with its Appalachia first vision has always tried to encourage manufacturing development of clean, low-carbon natural gas in the area. And it has a history of 160 years of being in the energy industry. And we want continue to innovate. We have a history of innovation, and then with this new economy of energy economy developing into renewable and low-carbon transition world, we want to be a big part in the future for energy development in the area. As a part of ARCH2, one of the key anchor projects here is the Adams Fork, a project, ammonia project, and CNX is going to be a big anchor supplier for the low-carbon intensity feedstock to the plant.

JB: What do you see as kind of the timeline right now?

NB: The timeline, all the hydrogen hubs are divided into four phases. They're funded by DOE [Department of Energy], so they're like four phase projects, but the early timeline, which has Phase 1, which includes the planning part, the initial work on the business development. That is Phase 1, and that's going to be awarded in second quarter of 2024, next year. And the Phase 2, which includes the full project economics, the permitting, the final engineering approvals and community involvement, that will happen 12 to 18 months post Phase 1, which should be approximately Q2 to Q4 2025.

JB: I know there's a few hubs in the country, but with this being the biggest gas-producing region in the country, just how important and critical is hydrogen for the future of the area?

NB: With the government's support and its vision of bringing in low carbon and clean fuel to the country for heating, transportation, for industrial use, this is going to be one of the key anchor hubs for the development of hydrogen economy. If you look at the hydrogen value chain with sourcing and manufacturing of hydrogen, the Appalachia region has the lowest cost, the lowest carbon impact natural gas available as feedstock for manufacturing of hydrogen. Fifty percent of the U.S. population is within one day drive. Here with hydrogen economy, there's a way we can bring back manufacturing to the area and increase and expand the manufacturing as part of our Appalachia vision. CNX is working on a few other projects where we bring that, so this will add to what we are already doing in other areas and new technology. [The] other advantage in Appalachia is we have infrastructure, which is already developed on old technology energy industry. We have rivers, we have roadways, so we have really good transportation network for transportation of hydrogen and products. And the third part is consumption. So since we are located near 50% of U.S. population, the consumption should be automatically there. So with all these different parts of value chain that we combined, this can be one of the lowest-cost hydrogen fuel suppliers in the country.

JB: It will be interesting to watch it play out. Thanks again so much for joining us here at the DUG Appalachia Conference. To read and watch more, please visit online at