The Squamish-based clean energy company that is pioneering technology that captures carbon dioxide to convert the gas into usable fuels received a significant financial infusion from the federal government on Tuesday for their promising results.
The federal government has announced $25 million in funding for Carbon Engineering (CE), which will be used to help the company progress its technology towards commercialization.
“Our government’s investment in Carbon Engineering is a commitment to an innovative economy and to a sector that offers tremendous promise,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development, in a statement.
“Canadian ingenuity is at work to find solutions to one of the world’s most pressing challenges, climate change. We are creating good middle-class jobs and positioning Canada at the forefront of the growing field of clean technologies.”
CE will now design, construct, and operate Newport Innovation Centre in Squamish, which will include an advanced development facility and a fully-integrated direct air capture and air-to-fuels conversion plant. On a daily basis, these new facilities will be able to capture 4.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, converting into at least 320 litres of ultra-low carbon fuels.
Such end-product fuels are cleaner than traditional fossil fuels and can be used to power existing cars, trucks, ships, and airplanes without any modifications.
This will advance the progress made since 2015 when CE began operating a pilot plant at its Squamish headquarters.
“With an increasing focus worldwide on the need to transition to a low carbon economy, companies that provide cost-effective and scalable solutions for lowering carbon levels will be leaders in an emerging global economy,” said Steve Oldham, CEO of CE.
“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.”
CE will also begin the design and engineering of the company’s full-scale commercial plants, with each plant capable of capturing one megatonne of carbon dioxide — enough to produce over 100 million litres of clean fuel annually.
The resulting fuel could be made at a relatively low cost of just USD $1 per litre. The findings of a scientific study on the potential of CE’s technology received significant global coverage last year.
The latest public funding towards this project adds to the company’s recently completed private investment round of $91 million.
Along with the company’s board of directors, management, and many staff, CE’s early investors also included Bill Gates and Murray Edwards.
Other entities that have invested into CE include Chevron Technology Ventures, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC, Bethel Lands Corporation Ltd, Carbon Order, First Round Capital, Lowercase Capital, Rusheen Capital Management, LLC, Starlight Ventures, Thomvest Asset Management, the Benjamin Family, the Hodgkinson Family, and the Hutchison Family.