Millions to be injected into CO2 capture, storage research
Australian research into carbon capture and storage (CCS) technologies has been assured until 2020 with the federal government's announcement on Monday (2 February) of a multimillion dollar investment over five years.
Minister for Industry and Science, Ian Macfarlane said the government would provide $25 million to the CO2CRC Otway Project and related activities.
Welcoming the funding announcement, CO2CRC's new chief executive officer, Tania Constable, commended the government for supporting CCS as an essential component in a portfolio of low- and zero-carbon emissions technologies required to tackle climate change.
"The wide-scale deployment of CCS is critical to reduce carbon emissions as quickly and cost effectively as possible," Constable said.
"This funding will allow CO2CRC to embark on a new program of research to improve CCS technologies.
"In particular, the intention is to lower the costs of developing and monitoring carbon dioxide (CO2) 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.
"A major focus of CO2CRC's research will be on high resolution monitoring and verification of stored CO2."
High CO2 concentrations
In addition, Constable said CO2CRC would continue its world class research into CO2 capture technologies.
"The high concentration of CO2 at the CO2CRC Otway site makes it ideal for accelerated exposure testing of our capture technologies," she said.
"As oil and gas producers move to higher concentration fields, such testing becomes more representative of conditions likely to be encountered in real operations."
CO2CRC's Otway site is recognised globally as a strategically important facility for demonstrating and progressing CCS.
"The new funding acknowledges the project's significant contribution to advancing CCS technologies internationally as well as the important ongoing role it will play in overcoming the climate change challenge," she said.
The Commonwealth funding, which will be provided to CO2CRC under the CCS Flagships Program, will be matched by cash and in-kind contributions from CO2CRC members. This includes $10 million from the Australian coal industry's Coal21 Fund and a $5 million Victorian government grant announced in September 2014.
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