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Market News

 May 24, 2006
Alberta's environmental technologies funded

 Calgary, Canada (GLOBE-Net) -- Western Economic Diversification Canada and the Government of Alberta are collaborating to provide over $12 million in funding to a number of projects designed to promote the advancement of environmental technologies in the province. The funds come as part of contributions under a Western Economic Partnership Agreement.

The projects will focus on a variety of areas, from carbon management and sequestration, to biomass energy and fuel cell development.

Alberta's Minister of Innovation and Science, Victor Doerksen, noted "This partnership has allowed us to combine resources to develop and expand new technology that will benefit Albertans across the province."

Of the many projects focused on promoting the commercialization of environmental technologies, the $6 million research project to investigate geological storage of carbon dioxide and the $2,130,000 initiative to further develop fuel cell technology in Western Canada drew special attention.

Other highlights include a $1.8 million initiative focused on developing the bioproducts industry in Alberta and a $900,000 investment in services to small and medium sized companies to build business capacity among early stage environmental technology firms.

Projects with a significant focus on environmental technologies are:

CO2 Management Program

This $6 million program, funded equally by Western Economic Diversification (WED) and the Alberta government, will focus on research and development for the geological sequestration of carbon dioxide. This will be aimed at finding suitable commercial sink opportunities in the western Canadian sedimentary basin and performing risk assessment studies for carbon dioxide storage.

A monitoring, measuring and verification program will also be created and implemented for the Penn West CO2 Enhanced Oil Recovery Field Project. Research will be conducted by the Alberta Research Council, the Alberta Geological Survey, the University of Alberta, the University of Calgary and the University of Regina.

Western Canada Fuel Cell Initiative

This $2.13 million program will establish a research program for the conversion of stranded industrial hydrogen to electricity; specifically, the evaluation of 'impure' hydrogen fuel cell technology will be undertaken. The Western Canada Fuel Cell Initiative, a network of Canadian universities working on hydrogen and fuel cell technologies, will support the project, while research will be carried out at the University of Alberta, University of Calgary and the Alberta Research Council.

Canadian Environmental Technology Advancement Corporation -- West CETAC -- West will receive $900 000 for 'Innovation and Technology Commercialization Capacity Building' to develop services to assist small environmental technology firms in the early stages of development and commercialization. By improving business management capabilities, small to medium sized enterprises will be able to bring their products to the marketplace more quickly.

Biomass Energy for Regional Development

Close to $1 million will support research by Alberta Forestry Research Institute (AFRI), in conjunction with the Alberta Agricultural Research Institute (AARI) and the Alberta Energy Research Institute (AERI), to demonstrate a small and medium sized biomass combined heat and power generation system. Existing technologies will be evaluated to choose the most advantageous system, allowing for a full scale commercial demonstration in the future.

Agriculture Bio-Waste Utilization Centre

The Alberta Research Council will used a $1.2 million grant to establish the Centre, with the aim of using waste as revenue-generating products -- bioenergy, biofertilizer, and other bioproducts. Biowaste streams to be assessed for commercial potential include manure, dead livestock, rendering materials, and food-processing wastes.

BioProducts Alberta Programs and Projects

BioProducts Alberta will seek to develop and commercialize technology, improve business and economic capacity, and encourage the overall bioproducts industry in Alberta. Industry, government and researchers will be involved in a collaborative process designed to strengthen partnerships and develop strategies.