August 23, 2004

Alberta grants $1M to sustainable energy institute

Energy research in Alberta will be further advanced with a $1-million grant from the provincial government to the Institute for Sustainable Energy, Environment and Economy (ISEEE), housed at the University of Calgary. The grant will be used to further the ISEEE's research in four priority areas: advanced oil and gas recovery. sustainable development and technologies; capture, transportation and storage of carbon dioxide (CO2); and water management.

Working in partnership with the University of Alberta, the University of Lethbridge, the oil and gas industry and the province (through the Alberta Energy Research Institute) the ISEEE will enhance leading-edge research, innovation and education in the areas of enhanced oil and gas recovery, oil sands upgrading, clean coal technology, CO2 management, water management and alternate energy.

Established in 2003, the Institute builds on Alberta's already considerable strengths in research, innovation and applied technology programs in energy and the environment. Its leadership board is made up of top industry, research and government leaders, including:

*Dr Robert Church, chair emeritus of the board of the Alberta Science and Research Authority, founding professor and head of the University of Calgary's medical biochemistry department;

*Elizabeth Dowdeswell, former executive director of the United Nations Environmental Program and president of Nuclear Waste Management Organization;

*Charlie Fischer, president and CEO of Nexen;

*Jim Gray, director of Brascan, Canadian National Railways and Emera, and founder of Canadian Hunter Exploration;

*Dr Robert Mansell, managing director of ISEEE;

*Neil McCrank, chair of the Alberta Energy and Utilities Board;

*Dr Granger Morgan, professor and department head, engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University;

*Gwyn Morgan, president and CEO of EnCana; and

*Dr Harvey Weingarten, president and vice-chancellor, University of Calgary.

"The Institute is expected to provide enormous leadership in helping to secure a first-rate future with sustainable energy, a cleaner environment and a prosperous economy" said Alberta Energy Minister Murray Smith. "I hope that it will also spur on the federal government to make a similar commitment," he added.

Over the past 30 years, public and private sector partners have dedicated nearly $3 billion to research and technology initiatives aimed at enhancing hydrocarbon resource development. The Alberta government has contributed over $800 million of that total through the Alberta Oil Sands Technology and Research Authority (AOSTRA) and its successor, the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI).

More information is available from Gordon Vincent at Alberta Energy, 780/422-3667.

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