Group of natural gas producers back $3-million clean tech program

An industry-sponsored fund designed to help develop clean technology using Canadian natural gas is launching a $3-million call for project proposals.

The Natural Gas Innovation Fund says the call for applications, with a February deadline, is being made possible by the addition of seven western Canadian natural gas producers to a membership previously made up of six natural gas utilities.

The new members include the Canadian branches of two partners in the proposed $40-billion West Coast LNG Canada project: Royal Dutch Shell and Petronas; along with Canada’s largest natural gas producer, Calgary-based Canadian Natural Resources Ltd.

Fund managing director John Adams says the new program will target projects in the upstream or producing part of the industry, making up to $1 million available per project to cover as much as 25 per cent of its eligible expenses.

Adams says the fund, created by the Canadian Gas Association, has over the past two years issued about $9 million to projects focused on energy efficiency.

The seven new members of the Natural Gas Innovation Fund were announced on Wednesday. (Francois Joly/Radio-Canada)

“We’ve got the best minds, all the technical experts of Shell and Birchcliff … so that’s a fantastic sort of skill set,” said Adams. “What we’re doing is bringing them together.”

The fund is also announcing a partnership with federal, Alberta and British Columbia governments to collaborate and consider co-funding successful applicants with projects that deliver significant greenhouse gas emission reductions.

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