Australia: industry leadership to develop low emission technologies

gorgon carbon dioxide compressor module

An industry-led Leadership Roundtable for the development of Low Emissions Technologies for Fossil Fuels has been established, the Minerals Council of Australia said.

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.

Fossil fuels will continue to make an indispensable contribution to the world’s energy, plastics, chemicals, steel, cement, glass, aluminium and fertiliser industries and to a wide range of industrial products, including textiles, paints and dyes. The use of fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions are not mutually exclusive.

Over the past decade, considerable effort has been directed to developing low emission fossil fuel technologies here and overseas. In Australia, this has involved a coordinated effort by industry and the
Commonwealth and state governments.

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. The world’s first large-scale power plant to capture and store carbon dioxide opens this week at SaskPower’s Boundary Dam in Canada. The project is estimated to capture one million tonnes of CO2 each year with any CO2 not used in EOR to be stored in a deep saline formation.

Australia’s contribution to this international effort includes the CO2CRC Otway CO2 Storage Project ion 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. The Roundtable will build on these activities.

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. These may include technologies for high efficiency/lower emission generation, fugitive emission abatement and CCS.

The forum will also promote wider understanding of the role and importance of large scale demonstration of low emissions technologies for fossil fuels and their benefits to society. Its advice will be an important input into the development of relevant federal and state government policies. The Roundtable will receive secretariat support through the Global CCS Institute as well as participation by the Australian Government through the Department of Industry.


Press Release, October 3, 2014; Image: Chevron