Project Orca – Projet ORCA

Canada’s Ocean Supercluster Announces $4.25M Project ORCA

One of Three Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program Projects Announced on Feb. 17

On Feb. 17, 2021, Canada’s Ocean Supercluster announced three new projects with a total value of $12 million from its Accelerated Ocean Solutions Program (AOSP) stream, including Project ORCA. Project ORCA is the Ocean Supercluster’s first Alberta-led project, and brings together SMEs, academia, and other partners in ocean innovation to advance the development of Katal Green Fuel ahead of commercialization to reduce dependency on diesel and transition to low-carbon fuels. The project will benefit Canadians by creating seven jobs immediately, an additional 42 jobs within three years, and the potential for 210 indirect jobs throughout the project’s lifespan. Project ORCA will generate new economic activity, helping grow the ocean economy in a digital, sustainable, and inclusive way.

Watch the Announcement here:

It is estimated that 80-90 per cent of international trade by volume is conducted across oceans. There is an opportunity to provide a lower carbon fuel for ocean vessels, harbour vessels, cruise ships, ferries, barges, terminal operations, refueling operations, and other marine machinery. Katal Energy is proposing a start to reducing reliance on diesel and transitioning to low-carbon fuels. Project ORCA will address capability challenges of the technology, providing a working demonstration of the technical and structural needs of the marine transportation industry.

With a total project value of $4.25 million, the Ocean Supercluster will provide $2 million in funding, with $2.25 million coming from industry partners. Led by Katal Energy project partners include Valent Low Carbon Technologies, Horizon Maritime, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT), Mitacs, Deepsense, and Spearhead Manufacturing to advance the technology readiness level of Katal Green Fuel.

Project ORCA will enable Katal to introduce Green Fuel to market by:

  • Extending their work beyond the laboratory environment to the field;
  • Collecting necessary fuel performance and emissions data;
  • Incorporating customer feedback;
  • Working to prove scalability, supply chain logistics and storage capacities; and
  • Defining the commercial process considerations


“The Ocean Supercluster is changing the way business is done and positioning Canada as a global leader in the ocean economy. Through innovative projects like the ones announced today, Canada’s Superclusters are clearly succeeding in fostering stronger connections across the innovation ecosystem and creating real benefits for Canadians.” The Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard

“There is global demand for lower carbon solutions in ocean and through environmental technologies like those being deployed through Project ORCA, we are seeing the benefits of the cross-sectoral, collaborative framework of the Ocean Supercluster and the game-changing innovation that comes as a result as well as economic benefits including 42 jobs and up to 210 indirect jobs over the life of the project. We are thrilled to announce Project OCRA, the Ocean Supercluster’s first Alberta-led project.”   Kendra MacDonald, CEO Canada’s Ocean Supercluster

“Our partnership with the Ocean Supercluster helps accelerate our transition towards commercialization. Project ORCA enables us to showcase our environmental technology in a collaborative real-world setting.”  Katal CEO Craig Latimer

“The collaboration with Katal on Project ORCA provides a tremendous opportunity for SAIT and our students to be active participants in the transition to a lower carbon economy.” Tom Bornhorst VP Corporate Development, Applied Research and International, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology

“The research and development of Katal Green Fuel appears to be a viable and important solution for reducing exhaust emissions of diesel-powered internal combustion engines. Having an abundance of our equipment powered by diesel engines means this is of high interest to us.” – Horizon Maritime CEO, Sean Leet

“Katal’s offering holds a unique opportunity to do this with no modifications to our existing vessels. This means we can make a measurable difference in the short and medium term as other energy technologies become more mature.”- Horizon Maritime CEO, Sean Leet

French News Release – Projet ORCA