A report prepared for the government by the Carbon Storage Taskforce estimates that eastern Australian aquifers could store 200 million tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide emissions for 70-450 years, while Western Australian aquifers could store 260-1120 years worth at 100Mtpa.
Latrobe Valley holds a competitive advantage over other projects due to “relatively low carbon transport and storage costs”
While New South Wales emits plenty of carbon, the report found the state’s basins had low storage capacity but acknowledged the majority of them were relatively unexplored.
In the case of storage options in the state not being uncovered, the report detailed the possible need to construct up to 1700km of pipeline to transport carbon dioxide emissions from the Hunter Valley up to the Surat and Eromanga basins in Queensland.
“Apart from gas processing projects, commercial investment is highly unlikely until a carbon regime is introduced that is perceived to introduce costs, incentives or mandated outcomes that will persist in the medium to long term,” the National Carbon Mapping and Infrastructure Plan report concluded.
Last week four projects made the cut for the Australian government’s $A2 billion Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Program.
Announced by Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson, the government will pour $120 million into further prefeasibility assessment of the shortlisted candidates.
Queensland hosts two of the proposals, including the GE Energy-led Wandoan power plant project and the Queensland government-run ZeroGen project.
The Victorian government-led CarbonNet project and the Collie South West Hub project in Western Australia round out the top four.
Australian Coal Association executive director Ralph Hillman was pleased ZeroGen and the Wandoan project had made the shortlist as the industry group had contributed to both proposals.
“The Australian coal industry has long recognised the importance of CCS in responding to climate change and is investing $1 billion to support the development and demonstration of this technology,” ACA said.