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Roundtable to take lead on Aust carbon capture effort

02 October, 2014

An industry-led Leadership Roundtable will be established for the development of low emissions technologies for fossil fuels, the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) announced on Thursday (2 October).

The announcement follows a recent report by the CSIRO that global carbon dioxide emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels reached a new record of 36 billion tonnes last year.

Currently there are 22 large-scale Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) carbon capture or Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) projects in operation or construction around the world.

In a statement, MCA said the Roundtable hoped to build on Australia's current contribution to the international effort.

The nation's current contribution includes the CO2CRC Otway CO2 Storage Project in Victoria, the Queensland Callide Oxyfuel power project and the Chevron operated Gorgon Joint Venture's investment in the world's largest commercial-scale CO2 injection facility, currently under construction in Western Australia.

Australia has also undertaken a national assessment of the nation's greenhouse gas storage capacity and was the first country to introduce legislation to govern both onshore and offshore geological sequestration.

Roundtable's role

The Roundtable's role will be to share information on relevant low emission technology activities across Australia and overseas and to identify potential new studies and activities that could address current gaps and future needs.

The MCA hopes its advice will be an important input into the development of future relevant federal and state government policies.

Minister for Industry Ian Macfarlane commended the move, saying the initiative was a "great forum" for a national focus to lower emissions from traditional fuel sources.

"It's essential that industry takes a proactive approach to providing the lower emissions fuel that will power the emerging energy-hungry markets in our region," he said.

"The Australian Government supports greater collaboration between industry and research to tackle issues like this one, and encourage breakthroughs that benefit our economy and our community.

"I commend the leadership shown by the Minerals Council of Australia in setting up the Roundtable and revitalising Australia's carbon capture and storage efforts."

The Roundtable will be chaired by Stewart Butel, Managing Director of Wesfarmers Resources Limited, Chair of COAL21* and a Director of the Minerals Council of Australia. Membership will include senior representatives from the coal, oil and gas, and power generation industries, research organisations, federal and state governments and the Global CCS Institute.

The federal government has committed more than $300 million to low emissions technology research and development including demonstration projects such as the $11.5 million Australia-China Post Combustion Capture (PCC) Feasibility Study Project, the largest bilateral project with China funded by the government.

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Kevin Carpenter | Friday, October 3, 2014, 10:03 AM
We have approached the government about our product XSNano and how it can reduce up to 98% emissions in vehicles and public transport. I appears that no one in government is prepared to look at alternatives to carbon reductions that don't involve TAX
Ken Goldsmith | Friday, October 3, 2014, 10:37 AM
The only carbon reductions anyone should be after is particulate matter. There is plenty of REAL pollution in fossil fuels that CAN be reduced, that would benefit the environment, without worrying about CO2.