Innovative Canadian company removes CO2 from the air, then creates low-carbon fuels with it
What if the fight against global warming included taking CO2 directly from the air? Does that sound too much like science fiction? Carbon Engineering already has a demonstration plant in Squamish and announced last year that will build the world’s biggest direct air capture plant in Texas, to be operational in 2023.
On Thursday, it broke ground for its new innovation centre in Squamish, BC where it will accelerate the development of its unique technology.
Markham interviews CEO Steve Oldham about the new centre and the company’s big plans for selling its technology around the world.
Carbon Engineering press release: Squamish, B.C. (June 11, 2020) – Today, Carbon Engineering Ltd. (CE), a Canadian clean energy company pioneering technologies to remove or reuse carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, has broken ground on its new Innovation Centre in Squamish, B.C., due to be completed by August, 2021.
The Carbon Engineering Innovation Centre will be CE’s permanent business and advanced development headquarters where the company will further optimize and innovate its groundbreaking carbon removal and clean energy solutions. CE’s Direct Air Capture (DAC) technology removes CO2 directly from the atmosphere at large scale, and its complementary AIR TO FUELSTM technology produces ultra-low carbon intensity fuels out of captured atmospheric CO2, water, and clean electricity.
“This is a very exciting milestone for CE,” said Steve Oldham, CEO of CE. “The Innovation Centre will enable us to continue to advance our technology here in Squamish, British Columbia, positioning CE as a global leader in the critical and growing field of Direct Air Capture. The Innovation Centre will allow CE to optimize and improve its technology which can help countries, companies, and individuals achieve their net zero targets and make a material impact in the fight against climate change.”
Located in the Newport Beach Oceanfront Development, south of downtown Squamish, the centre will include a 1,250m2 building to be used as an operations and laboratory space, and a new, fully integrated Direct Air Capture and AIR TO FUELSTM plant. Construction of the project will create approximately 45 full-time local jobs over the span of a year, in addition to the current Carbon Engineering team of 90 full-time employees.
Carbon Engineering’s Innovation Centre is being constructed concurrently with the design and engineering work of CE’s first commercial plant which, when completed, will be the world’s largest DAC facility, capable of capturing one million tons of CO2 per year.
CE marked the breaking ground moment with a small, socially-distant gathering at the site in Squamish, which was attended by the Honourable Bruce Ralston, Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Her Worship Karen Elliott, District of Squamish Mayor, Michael Hutchison, a CE board member and President of Huron Clean Energy, CE’s Canadian plant development partner, and John Matthews of Matthews West, the real-estate development company managing the Oceanfront Squamish project.
Development of the Innovation Centre is supported by a CA$25 million repayable contribution by the Government of Canada’s Strategic Innovation Fund and over CA$100 million of private funding from CE’s investors.