Government of Canada Supports Emerging Clean Technologies in Alberta

News release

April 4, 2022                                          Calgary, Alberta                                    Natural Resources Canada


The Government of Canada is making investments to enhance Canada’s competitive advantage, diversify market opportunities, create good middle-class jobs and achieve our emissions reduction targets.

Today, the Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources Canada, announced a combined investment of over $7.5 million to four organizations in Alberta that are advancing emerging clean technologies to grow our economy and help Canada meet its environmental targets.

These projects include:
●        $3,000,000 to Suncor Energy Inc. in Fort McMurray, Alberta, to demonstrate the effectiveness of the Permanent Aquatic Storage Structure to accelerate the dewatering and removal of contaminants in fluid tailings and, combined with watershed design, to create a self-sustaining boreal pit lake ecosystem;

●        $2,000,000 to Cenovus Energy Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, to demonstrate the effectiveness of a partial-upgrading process which is intended to reduce diluent use and the greenhouse gas emissions related to crude transportation;

●        $1,500,000 to MEG Energy Corp. in Christina Lake, Alberta, to prove the commercial viability of a process to reduce the viscosity of heavy, bituminous oil through on-site pilot testing; and,

●        $1,050,000 to Seal Well Inc. in Calgary, Alberta, to demonstrate the use of a bismuth-based metal alloy as a more effective sealant to permanently prevent the leakage of gases from producing and abandoned oil and gas wells.

Federal funding was provided through the Clean Growth Program, a $155-million investment in clean technology research, development and demonstration projects in three Canadian sectors: energy, mining and forestry. The program launched in 2017–18 and sunsets this year.

These investments demonstrate the Government of Canada’s ongoing commitment to supporting innovative projects in the energy, mining and forestry sectors to create clean, sustainable and competitive natural resource sectors while reducing the environmental impacts of operations and fighting climate change.

Quotes

“The Government of Canada is pleased to invest in projects that accelerate the development of innovative clean technologies that position Canada’s natural resource sectors as world leaders. Through innovative ideas and with dedicated partnerships – like those here in Alberta – we are helping to grow the economy in a way that is compatible with our climate commitments.”

The Honourable Jonathan Wilkinson 

Minister of Natural Resources 

“Alberta has the expertise and the drive to be a leader in developing clean energy technologies. Investments like these will help us get there and help us achieve our climate goals.

The Honourable Randy Boissonnault

Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“Today’s investment of over $7.5 million to four companies based in Calgary is another example of our government collaborating with Canada’s energy sector while ensuring we meet our environmental obligations. Albertans will greatly benefit from this clean energy investment.”

George Chahal

Member of Parliament for Calgary Skyview

“Suncor developed the Permanent Aquatic Storage Structure to increase our ability to reclaim tailings ponds. Collaboration continues to be important with this technology, and this support from NRCan helps to drive better environmental outcomes.”

Arlene Strom, Chief Sustainability Officer and General Counsel
Suncor Energy Inc.

“MEG is advancing this project, focused on reducing the viscosity of produced bitumen, as it will drive a significant reduction in diluent use for transporting the product to markets and associated greenhouse gas emissions. NRCAN’s support will accelerate proving the commercial viability, and its associated environmental benefits. MEG appreciates the opportunity to work collaboratively with NRCAN to reduce the environmental impact of our operations as we drive to Net Zero by 2050 and position Canada as the preferred global supplier of Net Zero crude.”

Derek Evans, President and CEO
MEG Energy

"Seal Well is Canada's pioneer in utilizing the unique fundamental physical characteristics of the metal bismuth to seal greenhouse gas emissions from oil and gas wells in an economic and permanent fashion. The development of the tools and procedures to accomplish this important end would not have been possible without the support of Natural Resources Canada and Alberta Innovates."

Homer Spencer, President
Seal Well Inc.

“Cenovus has a 2035 target to reduce our absolute emissions, and a longer-term ambition to achieve net zero emissions by 2050. We know that progress will require collaboration, and investments in technology and innovation. This project has the potential to reduce the amount of diluent we use in our oil sands operations and reduce the greenhouse gas emissions related to transporting that oil.”

Rhona DelFrari
Chief Sustainability Officer & Senior Vice-President, Stakeholder Engagement

Quick facts

  • The Clean Growth Program includes innovative features, such as:

    • Trusted Partnerships: this platform enables close collaboration with organizations that fund energy innovation domestically and globally, with a focus on critical stages of technology development that ensures aligned priorities, shared risk and maximized impact. 
    • Science and Technology Assistance for Cleantech: this novel model was introduced to provide small and medium-sized enterprises funded under the CGP with access to scientific and technical resources at federal research centres to help them overcome a lack of technical expertise and research infrastructure. 

Associated links

Contacts

Natural Resources Canada

Media Relations

343-292-6100

media@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca 

Keean Nembhard

Parliamentary Secretary

Office of the Minister of Natural Resources

613-323-7892

keean.nembhard@nrcan-rncan.gc.ca 

Follow us on Twitter: @NRCan (http://twitter.com/nrcan)

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