November 12, 2007

Cleantech investments pass $1 billion with latest SDTC funding awards

Canada's cleantech economy marked a major milestone as Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) reported that its eleventh and latest round of funding has taken its SD Tech Fund(TM) investment portfolio past the $1 billion mark.

SDTC's board of directors recently approved $30.3 million in new funding for the development and demonstration of 14 processes, systems and equipment that benefit both the environment and the economy. These projects, with a total value of $93.5 million, have brought the SD Tech Fund investment portfolio to $1.03 billion.

"Since our first funding round in 2002, we have seen a twenty-fold increase in financial support for clean technologies," said SDTC chairman Stephen Probyn. "The public and private sectors have seen the importance of clean technologies, embraced our model and have invested their time and money into this important area."

"We are excited about this new group of companies and the promise their technology solutions hold," said SDTC president and CEO Vicky Sharpe. "Once again clean technologies are adding value to the Canadian economy, from increasing the efficiency of important sectors like oil and gas to empowering remote communities to operate more cost-effectively."

Some of the projects receiving support are summarized below.

*Biothermica Technologies, in Montreal, is collaborating with Hillsborough Resources to demonstrate a technology that oxidizes low levels of methane in the ventilation air of underground coal mines to carbon dioxide (CO2). This will reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and allow the resulting carbon credits to be sold on the carbon trading market. A 1/10th scale demonstration unit will be installed at Hillsborough's Quinsam coal mine near Campbell River, BC. (Economic category--energy utilization; Environmental benefit-climate change)

*EnviroTower, in Toronto, is working with Toyota to demonstrate an industrial application of a patented cooling tower water treatment system as a more effective, reliable and economical alternative to traditional, chemical-based water treatment. The technology combines a real-time process control system with existing electrostatic water treatment equipment, and will enable industrial facilities to cut cooling tower costs, reduce energy and water consumption, minimize chemical discharges to sewer systems and reduce the risk of process interruption. (Economic category-waste management; Environmental benefit-clean water, climate change)

*Ferrinov, in Montreal, is working with Dofasco, Mittal Canada and academic partners to advance its patented hydrometallurgical process for the treatment of electric arc furnace (EAF) dust and recovery of ferrites and magnetites, which can be made into anti-corrosion pigments for use in paint manufacturing. Ferrinov's process will reduce the energy intensity associated with treating EAF by up to 80%, while consuming only about 15% of the energy typically required in producing pigments. The result is a technology that offers a more sustainable method of EAF dust disposal, while helping reduce both GHG emissions and waste sent to landfill. (Economic category--waste management; Environmental benefit-clean soil, clean air, climate change)

*Menova Energy, in Ottawa, and Trident Exploration will pursue the use of algae to sequester CO2, produce oxygen and generate bio-oil. They will use an innovative combination of technologies to capture CO2 from compressor stations (and other installations in the fossil fuel power generation sector) and sequester it for eventual production of biofuels. The project will integrate existing proprietary solar concentrating technology with a new closed-loop photo bioreactor (PBR) system, using algae to sequester the CO2 and to generate biofuel feedstock. (Economic category--energy utilization; Environmental benefit-climate change, clean air)

*St-Jean Photochimie, of St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Quebec, has teamed with Laval University to produce a new polymer derivative with the potential to greatly reduce the cost of solar photovoltaic (PV) cells. This unique polymer has higher material stability and light absorption properties than its nearest competition. As the next step, the consortium partners (which also include Konarka Technologies and the National Research Council) aim to develop a new manufacturing process to produce this polymer at a low cost and with a power conversion efficiency of 8%. (Economic category--power generation; Environmental benefit-climate change, clean air, clean soil)

Since April 2002, the SD Tech Fund has completed eleven funding rounds, committed $308 million to 137 clean technology projects, and leveraged $722 million from project consortia members.

SDTC will launch the next call for Statements of Interest (SOIs) for the SD Tech Fund on February 27, 2008. The upcoming call for SOIs will include a request for projects with technologies that address climate change, clean air, clean water and clean soil issues. Solutions that address more than one focus area are of greatest interest.

The full list of projects may be viewed on the SDTC Web site, www.sdtc.ca.

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