Though it is getting a global reputation, Carbon Engineering plans to stay headquartered right here in Squamish.
It was announced Wednesday, Jan. 9, that Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum Corp., and Chevron Technology Ventures have both taken an equity stake in the project.
The local company, in the big blue barn-like building out on the oceanfront lands, isn’t saying how much the investments are worth, but Carbon Engineering CEO Steve Oldham told Business in Vancouver that the company hopes to have raised $60 million in equity investments by the end of this year’s first quarter.
From its pilot plant on the oceanfront lands, Carbon Engineering's technology takes CO2 out of the atmosphere, where it can then either be sequestered or turned into a carbon-neutral fuel. There may commercial interest in carbon neutral fuel for aviation, according to the company.
The new injection of funds will be used to expand within and outside Squamish, Geoff Holmes, Carbon Engineering's business development manager told The Chief.
The company's local employee roster has swelled to a current 50 staff and new money will allow at least another 20 to be hired by the end of the year, Holmes said.
"We've been doing some local hires and some people who were previously commuting down to Vancouver," he said.
"It is kind of nice to create this kind of employment here in the community."
Finding housing hasn't been too much of an issue, so far.
"There is really not a bad talent pool right here in Squamish," he said.
The recent investment will also go toward upgrading and expanding in Squamish.
"We are definitely doing the technology scale up and the next step here in Squamish and our expectation and our intent is to remain headquartered in Squamish," he said.
"I can confirm that the larger scale facility is going to get built in Squamish."
Part of the funding will also go to engineering the full commercial-scale facilities that they are aiming to deploy in many markets around the world. To build those, the company is looking at various locations, including outside Squamish.
Holmes wouldn't say much about the previously planned fuel production plant between the airport and the landfill but suggested that may be off the table.
"That is featuring a little less prominently at this point," he said.
With the Newport Beach development getting underway at the oceanfront, Carbon Engineering is going to be moved and that process is ramping up, he said.
The plant is being moved within the site because it is right where a main road through the oceanfront property is going.
Holmes didn't have any timeline for that move to be complete.
For more on Carbon Engineering go to http://carbonengineering.com/.
~With files from Business in Vancouver