Montreal was named the headquarters of the new International Council of Hydrogen Development and Cooperation in early December. Industry representatives from nine countries launched the council at a congress held in Montreal to promote the use of hydrogen power. The little-studied energy source is being touted as an ecological alternative to gasoline.

Hydro-Quebec is a major promoter of hydrogen power and already plans to sell up to 25,000 megawatts to a European consortium for use in cars and buses. The utility envisages converting power from northern hydro-electric projects into hydrogen power at a plant in Sept-Iles. The world hydrogen council will have an initial budget of $200,000.