BC Government Investing $2M from Innovative Clean Energy Fund (ICE) in Proposed New Clean Fuels Plant in Merritt (Captures and Converts Co2)Monday, October 18, 2021
Vancouver, BC, October 18, 2021--(T-Net)--The BC Government announced this week that it is contributing $2 million from the Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund to support the engineering and design of a first-of-its-kind plant in Merritt to capture carbon dioxide and convert it to clean fuels, creating new jobs and economic opportunities in B.C.'s cleantech sector.
Canadian clean energy company, Huron Clean Energy (Huron) with its partners, The Upper Nicola Band, Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and Carbon Engineering (CE), announced that preliminary engineering and design has begun on a large-scale, commercial facility in British Columbia (B.C.) that would produce transportation fuel out of atmospheric carbon dioxide.
The proposed facility is being designed to utilize CE's Direct Air Capture and AIR TO FUELS™ technologies to capture carbon dioxide out of the air and deliver up to 100 million litres of ultra-low carbon fuel each year.
Powered by B.C.'s clean hydroelectricity, the plant will combine atmospheric carbon dioxide with hydrogen to produce renewable fuel, such as gasoline, diesel, and jet fuel. These fuels create up to 90 per cent fewer emissions than conventional hydrocarbons and work in existing airplanes, ships, trucks and cars without the need to modify the vehicles.
The AIR TO FUELS™ solution provides a pathway to significantly reduce transportation emissions. These fuels can be an important complement to electric vehicles by providing a clean liquid fuel for transport sectors that are difficult to electrify and today require the high energy density of liquid fuels, such as aviation and shipping.
The facility is slated to be built 25kms from Merritt, B.C., on one of Upper Nicola Band's eight reserves. The plant is expected to occupy approximately 100 acres of commercially designated band land, and Huron has partnered with Upper Nicola Holdings Limited Partnership (UNHLP) on a land and business participation agreement.
Huron intends to partner with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, a subsidiary of Occidental, as Huron's execution and operations partner on the project. Construction is expected to begin in 2023 with operations targeted to commence approximately three years after that.
The partners have commenced a preliminary feasibility engineering and design study on the AIR TO FUELS™ facility. The B.C. Government's Innovative Clean Energy Fund is contributing $2 million in funding to the initial design work, demonstrating the Province's continuing support for home-grown cleantech innovations.
CE's proprietary technology was conceived and designed in Canada. As part of the project evaluation, the federal government, through the Strategic Innovation Fund, is evaluating the project and tracking the engineering work closely. As an initial investor in the demonstration plant in Squamish, the federal government is keen to determine the best path to deploy the technology in Canada. The proposed project is expected to create thousands of local jobs during construction and hundreds of high-quality jobs for the ongoing operation of the facility.
"The Merritt Electro Fuels Project advances made-in-B.C. technology to capture carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere and convert it into clean fuels," said Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low-Carbon Innovation. "This innovative, world-leading project will support our economy's shift away from fossil fuels while creating new jobs and opportunities for British Columbians."
The project will use BC Hydro's clean and renewable hydroelectricity, and integrate green hydrogen production. This aligns with the B.C. Hydrogen Strategy, a blueprint for how renewable and low-carbon hydrogen will support B.C.'s climate goals and create new jobs in B.C.'s growing clean-tech sector.
Michael Hutchison, Chief Executive Officer, Huron Clean Energy (Photo Credit: Carbon Engineering)
"Our vision at Huron Clean Energy is to inspire a global shift toward preserving the planet, and we hope to realize this through the deployment of Carbon Engineering's game-changing technology across Canada. This will be pure Canadian innovation. In co-operation with First Nations partners and Carbon Engineering, we will leverage our collective expertise to deliver facilities that will bring significant emissions reductions and environmental benefits. They will also lead to the development of new Canadian industries and thousands of Canadian jobs." said
Michael Hutchison, chief executive officer, Huron Clean Energy.
Huron Clean Energy's Merritt Electro Fuels Project will help meet the CleanBC goal of developing 650 million litres of new renewable fuel production capacity in B.C. An estimated 620 direct jobs will be created during the design and development phases of the project, with another 4,780 direct jobs during construction and 340 long-term jobs during the plant's operation.
Huron has an equity partnership and land-lease arrangement with the Upper Nicola Band, which will receive a substantial part of the equity interest in the project as consideration for the land lease and other services. Huron has entered into a partnership with Oxy Low Carbon Ventures and also has an exclusive licensing arrangement for Canada with Carbon Engineering, a B.C.-based company leading the world in "negative emissions technology" that removes carbon dioxide directly from the atmosphere through direct air capture.
Steve Oldham, Chief Executive Officer, Carbon Engineering
"Carbon Engineering's climate solutions were developed here at home in Canada, with B.C. providing the ideal location for our company to innovate and grow. I couldn't think of a more fitting location for the proposed development of our first commercial air to fuels plant. Our Canadian-made solutions have the potential to be key tools in the efforts to achieve the Province's CleanBC and Canada's net zero goals, and we're grateful for the B.C. government's continued support and commitment to the low-carbon transition." stated Steve Oldham, chief executive officer, Carbon Engineering.
"By working together in partnership with the Upper Nicola First Nation, we are funding new, innovative technology to advance reconciliation and build a low-carbon future for B.C.," said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. "Through CleanBC, this project upon completion will significantly reduce emissions while creating long-term, clean jobs for people in the Nicola Valley."
The Merritt Electro Fuels Project is expected to prove the technical and business case for direct air capture and fuel synthesis, which could lead to the development of other commercial plants across Canada and other jurisdictions.
CleanBC is a pathway to a more prosperous, balanced and sustainable future. It supports government's commitment to climate action to meet B.C.'s emission targets and build a cleaner, stronger economy for everyone.
For more information on CleanBC, visit: http://cleanbc.gov.bc.ca
About the Government of B.C. Innovative Clean Energy Fund:
The Innovative Clean Energy (ICE) Fund was established in 2007 and was designed to support government's energy and environmental priorities and advance British Columbia's clean energy sector. It receives funding through a 0.4% levy on the final sale of specified energy products - currently natural gas, fuel oil and propane distribution systems.
Founded in 2018, Huron Clean Energy is a Canadian-based energy company that has partnered with Carbon Engineering Ltd. to own and operate commercial-scale DAC and AIR TO FUELS™ plants. Carbon Engineering has licensed their DAC and AIR TO FUELS™ technology to Huron Clean Energy to build, own, and operate commercial plants that will enable the production of renewable synthetic liquid fuels made from just three major inputs - air, water, and renewable energy. Visit huroncleanenergy.com
About Upper Nicola Band:
Upper Nicola is located 45 km east of Merritt and 90 km south of Kamloops, British Columbia, Canada. Upper Nicola has eight reserves located near Nicola Lake and Douglas Lake. Upper Nicola's two main residential communities are located on Nicola Lake (IR #1), and at the west end of Douglas Lake (IR #3). These communities are known locally as Spaxomin (Douglas Lake) and Quilchena (Nicola Lake). The reserves comprise approximately 30,848 acres that span a range of 50 kilometres along Highway 5A and the Douglas Lake Road. Visit UpperNicola.com for more information.
About Oxy Low Carbon Ventures:
Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, LLC (OLCV) is a subsidiary of Occidental, an international energy company with assets in the United States, Middle East, Africa and Latin America. OLCV is focused on advancing leading-edge, low-carbon technologies and business solutions that enhance Occidental's business while reducing emissions. OLCV also invests in the development of low-carbon fuels and products, as well as sequestration services to support carbon capture projects globally. Visit oxylowcarbon.com for more information.
Founded in 2009, Carbon Engineering (CE) is a Canadian-based clean energy company. CE is focused on the global deployment of megaton-scale Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology that captures carbon dioxide (CO2) out of the atmosphere so it can be permanently stored deep underground or used to produce clean, affordable transportation fuels. From a pilot plant in British Columbia, CE has been capturing CO2 from the atmosphere since 2015 and converting it into fuels since 2017. More information can be found at carbonengineering.com.
About Macquarie Group:
Macquarie Group Limited ("Macquarie") is a diversified financial group providing clients with asset management and finance, banking, advisory, risk and capital solutions across debt, equity and commodities. As of March 31, 2021, Macquarie had assets under management of US$428.3 billion. Macquarie Capital Markets Canada Ltd. is part of a division of Macquarie Group, which provides corporate advisory, capital markets and principal investing capabilities with specialist, global expertise in infrastructure, renewables, energy, technology, and commodities. For further information, visit www.macquarie.com.
EY exists to build a better working world, helping create long-term value for clients, people and society and build trust in the capital markets. Enabled by data and technology, diverse EY teams in over 150 countries provide trust through assurance and help clients grow, transform and operate. Working across assurance, consulting, law, strategy, tax and transactions, EY teams ask better questions to find new answers for the complex issues facing our world today. For more information about our organization, please visit ey.com.
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