The ERF onshore program Intake 3 is now open and will be accepting applications until March 31, 2022. The ERF Onshore Program (ERFOP) was established to promote the development of a sustainable oil sands supply chain by providing participants with funding for training and education to increase their knowledge and skills related to on-site work. The ERFOP is open to Canadian citizens, permanent residents, and protected persons employed in the on-site oil sands workforce. Applicants must be working in an on-site role in the oil sands sector and must have completed a minimum of two years of full-time work to be eligible for funding. Participants can receive up to $10,000 per year for a maximum of four years. The program is delivered in partnership with the Alberta government and covers safety, environmental protection, production, and facility operations.
Successful applicants will receive funding for approved education and training programs to improve their knowledge and skills related to on-site work. The program is delivered through various approved training providers, including colleges, universities, and private. The ERFOP is an excellent opportunity for workers in the on-site oil sands sector to improve their knowledge and skills. The program provides funding for approved education and training programs, which can improve skills in safety, environmental protection, production, and facility operations. If you are interested in applying for the ERFOP, visit the Alberta government website for more information and apply.
What Is the Emissions Reduction Fund Onshore Program?
In the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, the $675 million Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) – Onshore Program assists Canadian onshore oil and gas firms in investing in green solutions to maintain their efforts toward lowering methane emissions. During this time, the Canadian government is committed to working together to improve the sector’s environmental performance. Repayable and partially repayable contributions with flexible five-year payback period options for projects that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and partially repayable contributions for projects that aim to eliminate emissions are available through the Emissions Reduction Fund (ERF) – Onshore Program.
How Do Methane Emissions Play a Role?
While methane is a substantial source of emissions in Canada’s oil and gas industry, it is also one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce emissions. The reduction of methane emissions is a critical concern, and it’s the air we inhale. Taking action to reduce methane emissions provides immediate climate and health benefits and assists the transition to a net-zero future. Methane is responsible for over 30% of global warming to date and accounts for roughly 13% of Canada’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Methane reduction is an essential aspect of Canada’s new climate plan, aiming to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.
What Is the Objective of the Program?
The ERF is one of many critical policies supporting oil and gas decarbonization, but the government realizes that more climate action is required to meet Canada’s climate goals. This is why the government put a price on carbon pollution, committed to reaching net-zero emissions by 2050, and announced plans to develop a plan to reduce methane emissions across the entire Canadian economy by 2030, as well as to reduce oil and gas methane emissions by at least 75% below 2012 levels.
The government recently committed to at least a 75% reduction in oil and gas methane emissions by 2030. The ERF was launched in the fall of 2020 as a COVID-19 reaction tool to keep oil and gas employees employed and local communities supported during the pandemic. This initiative has benefited small and medium-sized businesses and communities across Western Canada, including Estevan, Saskatchewan; Brandon, Manitoba; and Slave Lake, Alberta, where projects are underway.
Comments on Funding
Funding will be provided in repayable donations, akin to interest-free loans, ranging from $100,000 to $20 million per company. ERF covers up to 75% of total project costs, with the option of stacking with money from other sources up to 90% of total project costs, such as provincial programs.
Who Is Eligible?
Academic institutions must:
1. own or operate an upstream and midstream conventional, tight, and shale oil and gas facility in Canada;
2. be validly incorporated or registered legal entities in Canada;
3. have projects to reduce or eliminate routine venting of methane-rich natural gas from conventional, tight, and shale oil and gas operations.
Repayable contributions are available for projects that minimize methane emissions. Projects that eliminate methane emissions are eligible for partially repayable contributions. By March 31, 2023, all projects should be completed.
How to Apply?
An upstream or midstream conventional, tight, or shale oil and gas facility in Canada owned or operated by an oil and gas firm, a provincial, territorial, or municipal government can apply in this intake. Applicants must register before accessing the application form on the ERF website. This web-based platform is intended to make the application process more accessible while also assisting in assessing applications.
Per the input period, each company is allowed to submit one proposal. Multiple projects at multiple facilities may be included in each proposal. By March 31, 2023, all projects should be completed.
What Documents Are Needed to Apply?
Applicants must submit a completed online Application Form and the supporting paperwork to the ERF within the stated intake period:
1. Engineer-certified Baseline Opportunity Assessment (BOA) or similar
2. Business Incorporation, Articles of Incorporation, or Registration Proof;
3. Proposed project(s) business plan, which must include:
- financial indicators;
- financial forecasting or analysis that includes anticipated earnings (or cost savings) resulting from the projects;
- cost estimate that meets or exceeds a Class-3 level as per the American Association of Cost Engineers (AACE) Cost Estimate Classification System;
- applicant’s goals;
- detailed technical description of the project;
- problems and solutions the project proposal aims to address;
- external and internal project risks and mitigation;
- verification that conserved natural gas can be accepted into gas gathering or gas processing systems, if applicable;
- repayment plan; and,
- other items relevant to the project.
Note that unless the Business Plan includes all of the relevant information contained within the BOA, the Business Plan is required in addition to the BOA or equivalent.
4. financial statements as follows:
the most recent three years of Audited or Reviewed Financial Statements for a business incorporated for three years or more;
-any available Audited or Reviewed Financial Statements for a business incorporated for less than three years;
-statements certified by the Corporation’s Chief Financial Officer if the company does not have Audited or Reviewed Financial Statements (e.g., newly incorporated); -the most recent interim financial statements for a business
5. forecasting the company’s budget and cash flow for the next two fiscal years. Include an examination of the potential risks that could affect the expected financial performance, as well as the primary assumptions that were utilized to construct the Budgets and Cash Flow Forecast.
6. information about the company’s past, such as a brief history, a description of the company’s services and expertise, as well as the company’s mission and vision;
7. completed Applicant Attestations Section 5 of the Application;
Eight complete Appendix A: Key Milestones of the Project(s) or similar (Refer to Appendix A: Key Milestones of the Project(s)); and nine if the proposed project(s) relates to numerous facilities, supply a document with the applicable facility identification numbers and addresses.
To Sum It All Up
The following program adjustments will be implemented as part of the refocused third application intake:
1. Narrow the scope of projects funded to only those that eliminate the intentional routine venting and flaring of methane;
2. Strengthen criteria to ensure that we are funding projects that provide the best return on investment in terms of emissions reductions; and
3. Increase transparency and ensure that projects demonstrate emissions reductions that are incremental to Canada’s methane regulations.
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