Initiatives such as NGIF Cleantech Ventures can play a role in helping Canada reach its emission reduction targets, says John Adams, managing director of the newly launched fund and CEO of NGIF Capital Corporation, under which the fund has been established.
NGIF Capital Corporation is Canada’s first venture capital firm that offers a hybrid investment and market-validation platform for cleantech startups, with solutions that enhance the environmental and economic performance for Canada’s natural gas sector.
Established by the Canadian Gas Association (CGA) as part of that organization’s ongoing commitment to innovation, NGIC Capital Corporation operates NGIF Industry Grants, the NGIF Emissions Testing Centre and now NGIF Cleantech Ventures.
“The type of industry collaboration you’re seeing within NGIF Cleantech Ventures is unprecedented,” says CGA president Timothy Egan. “We are bringing together upstream, midstream and downstream energy companies to pursue investment opportunities that will drive economic and environmental performance, building on the core value proposition of natural gas as Canada’s most reliable, affordable energy option.”
NGIF Cleantech Ventures has seven limited partners that represent Canada’s natural gas value chain – ARC Resources Ltd., ATCO Gas Ltd., Birchcliff Energy Ltd., FortisBC Energy Inc., TC Energy Corporation, Tidewater Midstream and Infrastructure Ltd. and Tourmaline Oil Corp – and they’ve committed a total of $35-million in capital.
Mr. Adams notes that “the value proposition for our startups is clear – we bring the first seven customers to the table, and we do that through our focus on technology validation and industry access, getting their selected energy solutions faster and further ahead to full market uptake through the financing we offer.”
Canada is making headway in many key environmental subject areas, according to Mr. Adams, including carbon capture innovation; methane emission detection, quantification and reduction technologies; and in renewable gases such as RNG and hydrogen. These are all part of NGIF’s investment interests.
Asked to pick a cleantech area that promises to make a big difference, Mr. Adams says all the priority areas matter, but he noted carbon capture innovation as a particularly exciting one, as it can offer cardon dioxide reduction or removal opportunities for the whole gas value chain.
By way of example, he noted the company Carbon Upcycling, which removes carbon dioxide from flue-gas emissions. “They have a carbon utilization technology with a lot of potential in that it creates advanced saleable solid materials from carbon dioxide and flue-gas emissions,” Mr. Adams says. “Their CO2-enhanced nanoparticle additives can be used in concrete infrastructure, plastic parts and in consumer products that we use in our everyday lives.”
He also pointed out that events such as the upcoming virtual GLOBE Capital conference in April are invaluable because they bring all cleantech startups and investors to one place.
“It’s important to have a place where startups can go and know their entire target audience for the capital they’re raising will all be there,” says Mr. Adams.
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