Calgary

Federal government gives $8M in latest investment in Calgary-based MEG Energy

The government says MEG Energy's new method for extracting bitumen has "the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent" by using less steam and water and "enhancing bitumen recovery."

Oilsands operator has received tens of million in public dollars for what's billed as cleaner technology

Natural Resources Minister Amarjeet Sohi speaks during a news conference in Ottawa last October. He was in Calgary on May 8 announcing new funding for an oilsands operator. (Adrian Wyld/Canadian Press)

The federal government is giving $8 million to a Calgary-based oilsands company for what it says is an investment in clean technology. 

In a news release, the government says MEG Energy's new method for extracting bitumen has "the potential to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent" by using less steam and water and "enhancing bitumen recovery."

It's not the only public dollars flowing into the company. 

In addition to the money from Natural Resources Canada, two Alberta government funds have contributed a total of $12 million, and Sustainable Development Technology Canada is "investing up to $10 million in the project," according to the release. 

The previous phase of the project received $9.93 million from Natural Resources Canada. 

The announcement was made by Minister of Natural Resources Amarjeet Sohi in Calgary on Wednesday after an addresses at a solar energy conference earlier in the day. 

About 100 to 150 pro-oil and gas protesters gathered to protest Sohi outside MEG's headquarters in downtown Calgary. 

"Our government supports clean technology projects that are helping companies extract resources using less water and less energy, while emitting less pollution," Sohi said in the release. 

"This is not just better for the environment — it's a major competitive advantage that will create jobs and grow the economy."

The Clean Growth Program that is the source of the funds is a $155-million investment fund set up by the Canadian government. 

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