Innovation Fund Cuts Emissions, Boosts Investment

Alberta’s most energy-intensive industries are investing more than $276 million in clean technologies that will create jobs, reduce operating costs and cut emissions.

View from the LaFarge Exshaw Cement Plant, one of 11 industrial efficiency projects receiving funding through Emissions Reduction Alberta’s Industrial Efficiency Challenge

Using low-carbon fuels to make cement and recovering heat from a refinery to generate electricity are just two new technologies receiving funding through the $70-million Industrial Efficiency Challenge. The challenge helps large industrial emitters invest in technology that reduces emissions and costs.

The $70 million from Alberta’s Climate Leadership Plan is leveraging more than $200 million in private investment in 11 Alberta projects worth a combined value of $276 million.

“Albertans know that our economy and our environment go hand-in-hand. These innovative technologies will help our major industries reduce emissions while creating jobs, cutting costs and making them more competitive in global markets. Our investments in innovation continue to position Alberta as a forward-thinking investment jurisdiction and industrial leader.”

~Shannon Phillips, Minister of Environment and Parks and Minister responsible for the Climate Change Office

Projects were selected and funded through Emissions Reduction Alberta (ERA), an organization that accelerates the development and demonstration of emissions-reducing technologies. Launched in March 2018, the challenge was designed to implement leading technologies in oil and gas, chemicals and fertilizers, cement and concrete, forestry and agriculture, electricity and manufacturing.

“The clean technologies required to improve both the environmental and economic performance of Alberta’s large industrial facilities require significant capital investment. The funding announced today helps accelerate the development and commercialization of some of the most promising industrial efficiency opportunities in Alberta.”

~Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta

The 11 projects are anticipated to eliminate more than 5.3 million tonnes of CO2e by 2030 – the equivalent of bringing more than 1,300 wind turbines online. Significant reductions in operating costs are also expected. If successful, many of these new technologies can be adopted across industrial sectors, leading to further emission reductions and further economic benefits for Albertans.

“This multi-partner, multi-site research project will help Lafarge better understand the environmental benefits of introducing lower-carbon fuels at the Exshaw Cement Plant – the largest cement plant in Canada. The Exshaw low-carbon fuels project will go a long way in helping us reach our ambitious corporate goal to produce 40 per cent less net CO2 per tonne of cement by 2030. This support from ERA helps us move this project forward. We hope that any positive results or lessons learned will encourage others in our industry to do the same, giving this investment a greater, far-reaching impact.”

~Kate Strachan, plant manager, Lafarge Exshaw Cement Plant

“The ERA’s Industrial Efficiency Challenge funding will have a positive impact on supporting continued innovations within the pulp and paper industry. This funding not only supports the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, but is helping Alberta Pacific Forest Industries Inc. pursue a project that will increase our efficiency, and will help to maintain and enhance our competitiveness and sustainability.”

~Daryl Nichol, Pulp Mill manager, Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.

These projects were selected for funding:

  • Imperial Oil Limited: Kearl ConDex Flue Gas Heat and Water Recovery Project
  • Lafarge Canada: Lower Carbon Fuels Project
  • Suncor Energy Inc. Oil Sands: Digital Optimization using Advanced Process Control in an In-Situ Facility
  • TransCanada Energy: Supercritical CO2 Waste Heat Recovery and Utilization Technology
  • TAQA North Ltd.: Crossfield Gas Plant Energy Efficiency and GHG Reduction Project
  • ConocoPhillips Canada: Field Pilot of Multilateral Well Technology to Reduce GHG Intensity of steam-assisted gravity drainage (SAGD)
  • Alberta-Pacific Forest Industries Inc.: Kraft Pulp Mill Flue Gas Energy Recovery Project
  • Repsol Oil and Gas Canada: Demonstration of the Transition from Hydrocarbons to Inert Gas Technology for Gas Blanketing and Purge in the Gas Processing Industry
  • Athabasca Oil Corporation: Energy Intensity Reduction through Flow Control Devices and Non-Combustible Gas
  • Energreen Solutions: Strathcona Works – Waste Heat to Power Project
  • ENMAX Generation Portfolio Inc.: Crossfield Energy Centre Hybrid Fuel Project

Funding will be distributed on a milestone-by-milestone basis, and the progress of each project is reported on until completion. More information, including detailed project descriptions and the results of past challenges, can be found online at