The world's 15 biggest ships create more pollution than all the cars on the planet.
Enlighten Innovations, a Calgary-based company that operates a facility in Fort Saskatchewan, shared this interesting fact on Tuesday (May 8) as the provincial government announced it will be investing $70 million to support environmentally friendly oilsands technologies in Alberta.
$10 million will go directly to Enlighten Innovations.
Organizations submitted 47 project proposals to the government’s Oil Sands Innovation Challenge in a bid to receive funding. Enlighten, whose submission was one of nine chosen projects, will be using the money as it moves towards commercial-scale production of low-sulphur marine fuel in the industrial heartland.
The funding announcement was made at Enlighten’s Clean Seas demonstration plant in Fort Saskatchewan, where the company is producing 10 barrels a day of sulphur-reduced fuel for ships. New shipping industry regulations going into effect globally in 2020 greatly limit the amount of sulphur that will be allowed in fuel.
Lorraine Mitchelmore, president and CEO of Enlighten Innovations, called the new fuel rules “one of the most disruptive regulations that we've had in our refining and shipping industry in over a century.”
She said that the Clean Seas production process is more cost-effective and has much lower impact on the environment, adding that it leaves no asphaltenes or large piles of coke behind. The Clean Seas technology uses sodium to remove sulphur from bitumen and heavy oil feedstock.
"Our technology is also a disruptive technology that is a much cleaner and cheaper way to meet these new global marine fuel sulphur regulations. And our technology can be transported and installed anywhere,” Mitchelmore said.
Fort Saskatchewan mayor Gale Katchur, who has visited the Clean Seas site two or three times to learn more about the operation, singled out Enlighten Innovations as she congratulated the nine grant recipients.
"This is good news for Fort Saskatchewan and Alberta's Industrial Heartland as it says, you know what, we are part of Alberta's change, to change climate. And this is going to be something that is taken to the world. Today is excellent news. This announcement is going to get the Clean Seas project off the ground and into production."
The $70 million in funding comes through Emissions Reductions Alberta (ERA), an organization that supports innovation in lower-emissions technologies. ERA’s mandate is to work with government and industry to speed the development of technology that reduces greenhouse gases in the environment.
Other companies receiving grants include Suncor Energy, MEG Energy, Cenovus, Imperial, ConocoPhillips Canada, Canadian Natural Resources Limited and Heavy Oil Solutions.