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Australian government pledges AUS$25 million in funding for CCS project

World Cement,

The Australian government will provide AUS$25 million in funding to the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC). The centre is running a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project at its Otway site in Victoria.

The objectives of the Otway project include:

  • Operation: demonstrate that CO2 can be safely produced, transported, injected, stored and monitored following best industry standards.
  • Research: effectively model CO2 behaviour in the sub-surface, demonstrating safe storage of the gas, verify that the gas remains in the deep sub-surface, and contribute to development of technologies capable of making deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Regulation: test the applicability of the existing regulatory environment in relation to transport, injection and geological storage of CO2 and provide science-based advice, as needed, toward development of a future regulatory regime.
  • Education and training: create opportunities to educate and train people in CCS-related activities.
  • Collaboration: provide a broader platform for collaboration at national and international levels.
  • Community consultation: communicate effectively with the community and stakeholders about the nature, progress and outcomes of the project and build understanding and acceptance of carbon dioxide capture and geological storage.

“The grant ensures that this critical research continues for five more years and we expect to see important technological improvements to CCS modelling, monitoring and verification as a result,” said Ian Macfarlane, Minister for Industry and Science. “The end goal is the wide scale deployment of an effective system for capturing carbon dioxide and storing it safely underground. Given Australia’s reliance on coal-fired electricity and our abundance of fossil fuels, funding this scientific research into CCS is a sensible investment in the nation’s future.”

Macfarlane went on to add that: “Encouraging innovation like this $25 million in new technology funding will not only help to cut emissions but also drive efficiencies and productivity which will help to put downward pressure on electricity prices. Australia has the potential to be an energy and resources superpower but it is important to assure investors that Australia is ‘open for business’ and to have clear and predictable policy settings.”

“The wide-scale deployment of CCS is critical to reduce carbon emissions as quickly and cost effectively as possible,” stated CO2CRC’s Chief Executive Officer, Tania Constable. “This funding will allow CO2CRC to embark on a new programme of research to improve CCS technologies.”

“In particular, the intention is to lower the costs of developing and monitoring carbon dioxide storage sites, enhance regulatory capability and build community confidence in geological storage of CO2 as a safe, permanent option for cutting emissions from fossil fuels.”

The funding provided by the Australian government will be matched by cash and in-kind contributions from CO2CRC members, including AUS$10 million from the Australian coal industry’s Coal21 Fund and a grant worth AUS$5 million from the Victorian government.

Adapted from press releases by

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