Third phase of Australian CCS project given go-ahead

Article by Amanda Doyle

CO2CRC, an Australian carbon capture and storage (CCS) research organisation, has announced a A$45m (US$30.8m) final investment decision for the third phase in its CCS project in south-western Victoria.

The Otway National Research Facility is the world’s largest CCS demonstration project and over 80,000 t of CO2 has so far been injected underground. It has demonstrated CCS end-to-end: producing, transporting, injecting, storing, and monitoring CO2.

CO2CRC has now announced that it has made a final investment decision on the Otway Stage 3 Monitoring and Verification Project, which will develop sub-surface storage and monitoring technologies with the aim to reduce both the cost and the environmental footprint of long-term monitoring. Five new wells will be drilled at the site and 15,000 t of CO2 will be injected. Initial estimates show a cost saving of 75% compared to conventional monitoring technologies. Technical and scientific work programmes are due to be completed by June 2022.

David Byers, CEO of CO2CRC, said: “CCS is the only feasible technology that can deliver deep emissions reductions in many industrial processes that are vital to the global economy, such as LNG, steel, cement and chemicals production. CCS can also be applied to coal- and gas-fired power plants, providing dispatchable low emissions generation capacity to complement the increased deployment of intermittent renewables, and in the production of low emissions hydrogen for heat and transport.”

“Industry and researchers have worked closely over the past four years to develop the intended scientific objectives and technological applications from the project. The investment in infrastructure will transform the Otway National Research Facility into the best CO2 storage testing facility in the world. It will mean Australia is well-placed to lead efforts to dramatically cut the cost of CCS and thereby accelerate its global deployment.”

Article by Amanda Doyle

Staff Reporter, The Chemical Engineer

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