Cleantech is becoming so synonymous with growth in Canada that it’s almost routine to see massive investments in the sector on a weekly basis.
This week, BDC has announced a $40 million investment split among four cleantech companies in Canada: Ensyn Technologies in Ottawa; GreenMantra Technologies in Brantford; GHGSat in Montreal; and Enlighten Innovations (formerly Field Upgrading) in Calgary. The $40 million is the first out of BDC’s $700 million five-year commitment to Canada’s cleantech industry that was first outlined in the federal budget.
The new capital will help BDC take on more risk to help high-potential Canadian cleantech companies overcome their barriers to scale and compete around the globe. With this investment and others from the cleantech fund, BDC will offer advisory services to portfolio companies to aid in growth plans, productivity, and talent issues.
“Investing in the development of new clean technologies accelerates innovation, increases the competitiveness of Canadian firms, and creates new jobs in Canada,” said Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “These investments exemplify our government’s commitment to demonstrating a clean environment and a strong economy go hand-in-hand.”
Ensyn is a company that focuses on converting forest residues such as small trees, branches, tops and un-merchantable wood into renewable heating fuels. Thier 13 million litre/year plant in Renfrew has seen a lot of success and use, so now Ensyn is focused on commissioning a larger-scale plant in Quebec that can support up to 40 million litres/year. This would remove up to 70,000 tonnes of CO2-equivalent emissions each year.
GreenMantra up-cycles waste plastics into specialty polymers and other chemicals through a thermo-catalytic system. Their goal is to remove more plastic from landfills, and BDC’s funding will help expand GreenMantra’s plant. GreenMantra landed on 2017’s Global Cleantech 100.
GHGSat launched the world’s first-ever satellite focused on measuring greenhouse gas emissions back ion June 2016. The company has been providing real-time data around the globe, and the new funding will help GHGSat build out a potential satellite constellation.
Enlighten helps to desulphurize heavy oils, producing lower-emission marine fuels for the global shipping industry. After building a successful pilot plant, the new BDC financing will help Enlighten build their first commercial plant.
“Canadian firms are leading innovation in cleantech, but face challenges in scaling up to global markets,” said Michael Denham, president and CEO of BDC. “By investing this new capital, we are looking to help our most promising companies scale into global cleantech champions.”
The Canadian cleantech sector has been exploding over the past few years as more and more companies in the country are named to global top lists like the Cleantech 100. Four Canadian companies were just named as finalists in the Carbon XPrize as well, vying for a shot at a combined $20 million prize.