When you’re shopping for a vehicle, you can kick the tires but you won’t know how it handles until you drive it. The same is true when developing technologies – processes, and equipment – to help reduce emissions. A new idea might look good on paper, but the real proof is an actual test run.
To that end, in April 2021 through funding support from Natural Resources Canada, NGIF Capital (NGIF) launched the NGIF Emissions Testing Centre (ETC) program. Additional in-kind funding support was provided by the University of Calgary, Tourmaline Oil Corp. (Tourmaline), Perpetual Energy Ltd. (Perpetual) as host site contributors to the program. Part of the ETC simulates emissions testing at a lab scale at the University of Calgary while a live-test facility is located at the West Wolf Lake Gas Processing Plant, jointly owned by Tourmaline and Perpetual, near Edson. The plant is operated by Tourmaline.
Tourmaline is Canada’s largest natural gas producer and has a remarkable emissions reduction record: since 2013, while Tourmaline’s production rose by 490%, emissions intensity was cut by 41%. With a corporate focus on significantly reducing emissions – primarily by addressing methane emissions – Tourmaline is an ideal host for the ETC.
The NGIF ETC program gives cleantech inventors and startups an opportunity to test their innovations in real industrial conditions at the gas plant, allowing improved understanding of how a given technology could be expected to perform at a commercial scale. In addition to working with engineering and other experts from Tourmaline, inventors also get support and guidance from highly qualified researchers at the University of Calgary. This is just one of Tourmaline’s many initiatives to reduce emissions.
Since the NGIF ETC started in 2021, more than 15 methane detection and monitoring technologies have been tested. Among them: