Oil sands looking for clean tech solutions

There are plenty of lucrative opportunities for Ontario manufacturers to supply clean tech and environmental expertise to Alberta's oil sands companies.

March 18, 2011   by PLANT STAFF

EDMONTON: Alberta’s oil sands are back in business in a big way following a slowdown in activity during the recession. Capital investment for 2010-2011 will hit $20 billion per year, while MRO spending is expected to exceed $30 billion during the same period.

But another area that presents opportunities for manufacturers is clean tech and environmental mitigation expertise. Indeed, environmental concerns are top of mind in the oil sands sector. Today Saskatchewan and Alberta announced they are near an agreement on how they’ll share information about the impact of oil sands emissions on the environment.

The Ontario government is particularly keen to explore opportunities for the province’s clean tech firms and is rounding up manufacturers to join its delegation to the National Buyer Seller Forum ( NBSF) in Edmonton March 29-31. (To join the delegation or get more information contact Kelly Bryan Murray at at the Ontario government, or phone 416-326-9621.

“The environmental challenges posed by the oil sands offer outstanding opportunities for Ontario manufacturers to provide innovative clean tech solutions for Alberta oil and gas companies,” said Sandra Pupatello, Ontario’s Minister of Economic Development and Trade  “Over the next 25 years, the oil sands industry in Alberta is expected to purchase $55-billion worth of goods and services from Ontario companies.”

She said the National Buyer Seller Forum is ideal for manufacturers to form extensive supply chain partnerships that will mean “thousands of jobs for Ontario companies today and far into the future.”

The province has identified the following five areas that offer opportunities for Ontario companies:

• Water treatment/recycle. Boiler and steam generation with varied water quality feed; hydraulic pump and metering technology; waste water handling and treatment; and water quality monitoring/sampling equipment and control systems.

• Tailings reduction/separation processes. Waste water treatment, settling and centrifuging; flocculants and thickeners that allow water to be recaptured from the
tailings before they are released into the pond; waterfowl deterrent technology from other industries, radar/laser systems; surface skimming equipment; and  heavy metal and mineral extraction equipment and technologies.

• Greenhouse gas mitigation/energy efficiency/carbon capture. Cogeneration technology; carbon capture technology, infrastructure and transportation; GHG emission measurement and monitoring; smart grid technologies; and energy efficiency technologies for mobile equipment, water treatment and steam generation facilities.

• Land reclamation and remediation. Biodiversity monitoring (aquatic, terrestrial and airborne), microbial through to critical/iconic/flagship/keystone fauna; reclamation technologies, in particular “wetland” reclamation, including fens, bogs, peat land, swamp, sloughs and lakes; and vegetation expertise to advance trafficable surfaces populated with endemic (native) species.

• Air Quality/NOx SOx pollutants. Air quality monitoring/sampling equipment/metering; scrubbing technologies; emissions abatement technologies and equipment; and state-of-the-art low emissions technologies on facilities and mobile equipment.

Provincial delegations like Ontario’s will also participate in regional economic hubs where companies can showcase their capabilities and meet with energy industry procurement people.

NBSF sessions will cover mining projects, engineering and procurement, carbon capture and sequestration, reclamation and water management, specialized supply chain strategies, tailings pond opportunities, and global investment.

Keynote speakers include: Alberta premier Ed Stelmach; Imperial Oil CEO Bruce March; Alberta Finance and Enterprise minister Lloyd Snelgrove; David Lynch, Dean of Engineering at the University of Alberta; Jayson Myers, CME’s president and CEO; Don Thompson, president of the Oil Sands Developers Group; and Gary Houston, vice-president of midstream and marketing, TOTAL Canada.

This event is presented by Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters (CME), the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (CAPP), and the Alberta and Canadian governments.

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