Canada invests in cleantech

The federal government of Canada has announced its investment of C$72.3 million (US$54 million) to two oil sands companies to aid in improving the country's environmental performance
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The Creating Value from Waste (CVW) Horizon project is a commercial-scale prototype demonstration of sustainable technology to remediate oil sands froth treatment tailings

Amarjeet Sohi, minister of natural resources, said that Canadian Natural Resources and Titanium Corporation are working on a trio of projects related to their Creating Value from Waste (CVW) technology.

The Creating Value from Waste (CVW) Horizon project is a commercial-scale prototype demonstration of first-ever sustainable technology to remediate oil sands froth treatment tailings, the government noted.

CVW is a clean technology that will remediate oil sands froth treatment tailings, recovering contained hydrocarbons (bitumen, diluent) and preventing their release into tailings ponds and the atmosphere.

Canadian Natural will receive C$5 million from the Clean Growth Program (CGP) for the progressing development of an in-pit extraction process separating oil sands ore to solids, bitumen and water at the Horizon oil sands mine site. The work aims to reduce diesel truck numbers and total power needed. The project is also receiving C$5.6 million from Emissions Reduction Alberta via its Oil Sands Innovation Challenge.

Canadian Natural will also receive C$22.3 million from the Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) for steam turbine generator technology to aid in power production at the Athabasca oil sands project (AOSP) while reducing emissions.

Titanium's earmark of C$45 million from the CGP and LCEF is for technology designed to remediate oil sands tailings, also at Canadian Natural's Horizon site. Potentially, the project could create a new high-value minerals industry for western Canada through recovery of valuable minerals from oil sands tailings. Emissions Reduction Alberta has committed an addition C$10 million for the work.

"These projects provide Alberta's oil and gas sector with solutions that will help reduce pollution, drive clean innovation and create good jobs. Accelerating clean technology development is a key component of our government's approach to promoting sustainable economic growth as Canada moves toward a low-carbon economy," Sohi said.

"Canadian Natural, and Canada's oil and natural gas sector, recognise the need to reduce GHG emission intensities, and we have been able to leverage technology and Canadian ingenuity to deliver significant results," added CNR president Tim McKay.

"In fact, Canadian Natural's Horizon oil sands operations has reduced our GHG intensity by 31% from 2012 to 2017. At today's production levels, that's equivalent to taking 665,000 cars off the road. Canada's oil and natural gas should be considered a premium product and have a major role for decades to come in providing responsibly produced, low GHG-intensity oil and natural gas to growing economies while reducing overall global GHG emissions."

Within four years of commissioning, the government is targeting net GHG emission reductions and avoidance stabilising at approximately 570kt CO2e annually and remediated tailings that will more efficiently integrate into tailings management activities.