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Below is our recent interview with Claude Letourneau, President and CEO at Inventys:
Q: Tell us please something more about the company?
A: Headquartered in Vancouver, BC, Canada, Inventys is a leading carbontech company with a vision to be a global leader in building a CO₂ marketplace and enable the mass market for distributed CO₂ supply.
We say carbontech because carbon is the backbone of the world economy. As the earth’s population swells to 8 billion and the global energy sector is looking for solutions to reduce or even offset its carbon footprint, carbon capture is the only way to keep those CO₂ emissions from going into the air.
At Inventys, we see this as an opportunity to put CO₂ to work. Some say it’s too costly and difficult to capture and use CO₂ or store it using a distributed supply model. We believe Inventys’ technology, with its step-change in the economics of CO₂ capture, will prove them wrong.
Q: You’ve recently announced US$21 Million in Series C funding round; could you tell us something more?
A: Inventys raised more than US$50 million in the last 10 years from leading venture capital firms, strategic partners, and government agencies worldwide. The Series C is of US$21M. We are very proud to have OGCI as a lead investor.
OGCI is a billion-dollar investment fund created by the world’s largest energy companies including Total, Shell, BP, to invest in promising technologies and business models that have at the potential to significantly reduce GHG emissions.
They want to be part of the solution with their focus on innovative companies with promising technology and business models that are ready to be commercialized.
This is a huge vote of confidence from global energy leaders that we are doing the right thing.
Q: So what do you do with the CO₂ after you capture it?
A: CO₂ can be used to make cement, chemicals (fertilizer, methanol), polymers, and fuels.
CO₂ can also be used to extract oil while storing CO₂ underground in the reservoir and reduce the carbon footprint of that oil – called CO₂-EOR
Ultimately, CO₂ can be stored safely underground – called sequestration
Q: Tell us more about the VeloxoTherm Process.
A: The VeloxoTherm Process includes three major innovations that provide a cost advantage:
First – Novel solid adsorbent nanomaterials to capture CO₂ versus existing liquid solvent.
Second – Contactor (machine) is very compact and completes a cycle in about one minute as opposed to hours thus reducing the Capex by a factor of three.
Third – Apply direct heat to regenerate the sorbent using low-pressure steam vs indirect process (more efficient)
Q: What are the challenges when it comes to creating the CO₂ marketplace?
A: The challenge to creating a CO₂ marketplace is that we need to do this at gigatonne (Gt) scale.
First – Shifting the capture cost curve down by a factor of two to less than US$30/tonne
Second – Source to sink at the point of use to minimize transportation cost
Third – Building an infrastructure to transport CO₂ (pipeline, ships, hub, and offshore and onshore storage)
Gt-scale carbon management will require massive investments and therefore present significant management, workforce, supply chain, and financing opportunities and challenges.
So far, it has failed to build momentum because of unresolved tension between public and private stakeholder positions around carbon tax and commercial value proposition.
Cost of carbon capture has to be lower than the carbon tax for the global energy companies to make a profit to store CO₂ – US$30 to US$50/tonne for CCS
We need to demonstrate cost and schedule certainty in delivering projects and developing a clear CO₂ marketplace pathway.
Q: What’s next for Inventys? Do you have plans to grow, expand or diversify?
A: We are in the pre-commercial phase with three major milestones to achieve in the next 24 months:
1. Install and successfully operate a 30-TPD small scale pilot production plant at Husky Energy in Saskatchewan, Canada
2. Prepare detailed design packages for 30- and 600-TPD size commercial plants
3. Get our first POs and launch our product in late 2020. Typical project is US$15-US$50M each.