Sustainable Development Technology Canada’s (SDTC) SD Tech Fund is earmarking $61.8 million for 23 innovative cleantech projects in the hope that it will keep pushing Canada further into the glowing green of the environmental limelight.
The largest 2013 federal investments are going to companies such as Atlantis Operations in Halifax for its tidal turbine water project ($5M), Toronto-based Canada Lithium for its lithium metal plant ($6.5M), and Quebec-based Nichromet Extraction for its precious metal extraction technology ($5M).
For 2013, the SD Tech Fund is investing between $5 to $7 million in five major Canadian cleantech projects, and between $400,000 to $3 million for the remaining projects.
The SDTC views the projects as ones that require a boost towards commercialization because they show strong potential for fighting climate change and issues surrounding air, soil and water quality.
Over the last decade, through 21 rounds of funding, the SD Tech Fund has supported more than 245 projects and allocated $592 million that will never have to be repaid. Itsportfolio consists of 245 cleantech projects worth a total of $2.1 billion.
“This is an exciting time for Canada’s cleantech industry, projected to grow to generate as much as $62 billion in revenues by 2020,” said SDTC president and CEO Vicky Sharpe in a February 20, 2013 statement to media about the new funding. “SDTC is excited to meet and work with another set of cleantech entrepreneurs, bringing technologies to market and changing the way business is being done.”
SDTC’s top-funded project for 2013 belongs toMEG Energy in Calgary for its $103-million bitumen conversion technology. SDTC is agreeing to invest $7 million in the project, on top of the $10 million MEG Energy received from the Alberta climate change fund in 2012. MEG Energy received the funding because its conversion technology emits 44 per cent less carbon dioxide than the standard delayed coking upgrading process.
MEG Energy is planning a 3,000-barrel-per-day pilot facility expected to operate by the end of 2014. It will be producing an average of 1,500 barrels per day for three years. The conversion technology is expected to enable MEG to transport 30 per cent more crude oil, simply by removing the diluent.
Another big winner in SDTC’s 2013 funding round is Eocycle in Levis, Quebec. The company is getting $6 million for its wind turbine generator technology, designed to create high-torque, low-speed generators for large wind turbines. Its Transverse Flux Permanent Magnet generator is smaller and lighter, resulting in a significant cost reduction of up to 35 percent compared to competing technology, the company says.
Eocycle Technologies Inc. CEO Gérard Bozet released a public statement explaining how the SDTC funding will “greatly expand the application limits of the technology developed by our company during the last decade.”
Bozet went on to say that “with this important support we will now be able to demonstrate to wind turbine manufacturers the competitive advantages of our state-of-the-art technology. We will also be able to grow and evolve by fully integrating ourselves into their supply chain.”
Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent was in Vancouver on March 13, 2013 in part to tout the West Coast city’s new SDTC funding. The six Vancouver projects are receiving nearly $10 million in funding between them. The projects range from new pest control and ship hull-cleaning technology to mining waste reclamation and commercial crop drying, Kent explained.
Following a speech that explored changes to the federal environmental assessment process, Kent spoke to the Vancouver Board of Trade conference about the importance of the SD Tech Fund.
“…While modernizing and refining Canada’s environmental laws is certainly essential, we also have to amplify the benefits that accrue by simultaneously fostering innovation, science and technology,” Kent said.
SDTC staff reports to Parliament through the Minister of Natural Resources Canada. Its funding is a three-stage process: the statement of interest, followed by the proposal, and then a potential contract. An investment committee and SDTC’s board of directors intensely screen each cleantech contender before funding decisions are made.
STDC is currently looking for the next wave of innovative cleantech entrepreneurs to apply for the next round of funding. The call for SD Tech Fundapplications runs from February 20 to April 17, 2013.
This news item first appeared in EcoLog News. To learn how to subscribe, visit www.ecolog.com