What happened: Ottawa announces $25 million in funding for B.C. cleantech firm
Why it matters: Public investment comes soon after private investors committed about $90 million to Carbon Engineering to ramp up commercialization plans
Hot off a US$68-million funding round earlier this year, B.C. cleantech firm Carbon Engineering (CE) has landed another C$25 million in funding — this time from Ottawa.
The Squamish-based company specializing in technology that captures carbon from the atmosphere will be using the fresh capital from the federal coffers to design and build its Newport Innovation Centre.
“CE’s air treatment technologies have the potential to realize significant greenhouse gas reductions, create jobs and investment in Canadian projects and deliver clean fuels to consumers. We are grateful for this support as we work to commercialize our technology and cement our position as a world leader in this field,” CEO Steve Oldham said in a June 25 statement, the day the funding was announced.
The innovation centre, also located in Squamish, will include an advanced development facility, and an integrated direct air capture and air-to-fuel plant.
The will be able to capture 4.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and produce at least 320 litres of low-carbon fuel a day, according to the company.
Including the US$68 million in investments announced in March, CE’s total funding for the year now sits at about C$115 million.
Previous investors include Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) co-founder Bill Gates, Chevron Technology Ventures and Murray Edwards, executive chairman of Canadian Natural Resources Ltd. (TSX: CNQ).
Oldham told Business in Vancouver at the time of the previous funding round that the capital would help CE enhance its test plant in Squamish, boost its headcount to about 80 workers (it had 50 workers at the beginning of 2019) and ramp up plans for commercial deployment of industrial plants.
CE is focused primarily on three market segments: jurisdictions that wish to capture carbon to battle climate change; enhanced oil recovery to deliver carbon-neutral or carbon-negative crude; and the creation of synthetic liquid fuel products by combining hydrogen with Carbon Engineering’s captured carbon.