Australia emits about 537 million metric tons of carbondioxide per year (2009 data). Australia represents about 1.5 percent of world emissions. Australia emits around 28 metric tons of carbon per person per year as it depends on coal to generate 84 percent of its electricity.
Carbon dioxide represents 75.2 percent of Australian emissions, methane 19.7 percent, and nitrous oxide 4.1 percent. Transport and energy account for 76 percent of Australian emissions, or 416 million metric tons. 14 percent of emissions or about 80 million metric tons of Australian emissions are from transport (Transport- 86 percent from road transport in which cars cause 41 million metric tons emission). Electricity generation accounts for 37 percent of emissions, or 204 million metric tons. Agriculture accounts for 16 percent of emissions, or 87 million metric tons. Around 10 percent of Australian emissions, or 59 million metric tons, come from sheep and cattle, due to gases produced when they digest food. Livestock emissions fell almost 11 percent between 1990 and 2008, driven by a 57 percent fall in sheep numbers due to severe drought.
The Australian Government is committed to developing Co2 capture and geological storage technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Australian Government is in the process of developing legislation to enable CCS activity in Commonwealth offshore waters. Several states are also developing legislation to enable CCS in their jurisdictions.
In September 2003, the Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources (MCMPR) established a Carbon Dioxide Geosequestration Regulatory Working Group to progress the issue of regulation for possible future CCS projects. The Regulatory Working Group consisted of representatives from Western Australia (chair) the Australian Government, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. A broader ‘Carbon Dioxide Geosequestration Regulatory Reference Group’, comprising all Working Group members, industry and research organisations was also established to provide advice to the Regulatory Working Group. A set of draft regulatory guiding principles for CCS were developed by the Regulatory Working Group and presented to MCMPR Ministers in July 2004 for consideration.
On 25 November 2005, the Ministerial Council on Mineral and Petroleum Resources (MCMPR) endorsed the Regulatory Guiding Principles for Carbon Dioxide Capture and Geological Storage which aimed to provide nationally consistent guiding framework for regulatory consideration of CCS in Australia.
The Australian Government’s climate change aimed to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions– long term target of 60% of 2000 levels by 2050. A medium term target range to reduce emissions by between 5 and 15per cent below 2000 levels by 2020. Australian Government is developing implementing legislation for national cap and trade scheme, CPRS which aim to provide incentives to the development of CCS technologies or projects.
A mandatory cap and trade scheme has already been implemented in Australia and another is currently under development. The Cap and Trade Scheme will commence from July 1, 2011. It is expected that the scheme will cover around 75 percent of Australia’s emissions and initially impose mandatory obligations on about 1,000 companies. It will cover a broad range of sectors, including stationary energy, transport, industrial processes, synthetic GHGs waste etc.
The Australian Government has indicated its intention to implement the CPRS rather than a Federal level CO2 taxation scheme. The only CO2 taxation scheme in Australia relates to CO2 sink forests.
CCS projects in Australia:
The following are some of the CCS projects in Australia:
Callide Oxyfuel Project, Queensland:
This is a oxyfiring demonstration project which will convert one of the 30 megawatt Callide A units to oxyfiring for the post-combustion capture, transport and potential geological storage of approximately 20 000 tonnes of carbon dioxide over a nominal 2 to 3 years period. Work of this project has commenced at Callide and the project is scheduled to start operating in oxyfiring mode in 2011.
CO2CRC Otway Project, Victoria:
This is Australia’s most advanced storage demonstration project and it is country’s first demonstration of the deep geological storage of CO2. It is a A$40 million Project, which is supported by 15 companies and 7 government agencies, involves researchers from Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Korea and the USA.
Coolimba Power Project, Western Australia:
The Coolimba Power Project, owned by Aviva Corporation Limited and located 15km south of Eneabba in Western Australia, comprises a 400‐450MW coal fired power station, a 360MW gas fired power station and has plans to phase in up to 2.9 million tonnes per annum of carbon capture and sequestration as a separate project when feasible. Coolimba is investigating ‘oxy firing’ carbon capture technology.
FuturGas Project, South Australia:
The FuturGas Project is located 250km south of Adelaide, in the South East of South Australia. The FuturGas project will provide a unique opportunity to develop an environmentally responsible liquid fuels and power generation initiative based on commercially proven low-emissions technology. It will also provide a pathway to zero emissions through the subsequent development of carbon dioxide capture and storage technology.
Gorgon Project, Western Australia:
Gorgon Project is a joint venture to develop the Greater Gorgon Area gas fields, located about 130 kilometres off the north-west coast of Western Australia. It is a A$43billion project. Gorgon will be the biggest resources project in Australia’s history, as well as the single largest investment of its kind in the world. The Gorgon Project is owned by the Gorgon Joint Venture (GJV), which includes the Australian subsidiaries of Chevron, ExxonMobil, Shell, Osaka Gas, Tokyo Gas and Chubu Electric.
Hazelwood Carbon Capture Project, Victoria:
International Power’s post-combustion CO2 capture pilot plant at Hazelwood power station in Latrobe Valley began operating in July 2009. It has been capturing around 25 tonnes of CO2 a day, or 10,000 tonnes per year, from one 200MW unit. Total capital cost of the project is A$369 million.
Latrobe Valley Post Combustion Capture Project (LVPCC), Victoria:
This project combines the facilities and support of two power companies, Loy Yang Power and International Power, and the resources and expertise of the capture research programs of CO2CRC and CSIRO to conduct research and pilot scale deployment of prospective technologies for the post combustion capture of carbon dioxide.
CO2CRC H3 Capture Project, Victoria:
This project, led by CO2CRC, is based at International Power’s Hazelwood plant and overlaps with the Hazelwood Capture Project. The project is using the 30-metre-high solvent capture plant installed by International Power as part of the Hazelwood Carbon Capture Project to test and evaluate new and improved solvents, compare equipment performance, investigate impurities removal and optimize solvent capture processes.
Loy Yang Project, Victoria:
Loy Yang power station is a brown coal fired power station located at Taralgon, in south eastern Victoria, Australia and it has begun operation as part of the LVPCC Project. It is capturing around 1000 tpa of CO2.
CO2CRC Mulgrave Capture Project, Victoria:
CO2 emissions will be captured from HRL’s research gasifier at Mulgrave in a pilot-scale capture project by CO2CRC. The capture technologies will be evaluated to identify which are the most cost effective for use in a coal gasification power plant. Partners include CO2CRC and HRL with funding from the Victorian Government under the ETIS Brown Coal R&D program.
Moomba Carbon Storage Project, South Australia:
The Moomba Carbon Storage Project located in South Australia was planned by Santos and its joint venture partners, Beach Energy Limited and Origin Energy Limited. This project has the long-term objective of establishing a large-scale carbon storage hub at Moomba, which could eventually store up to 20 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year and 1 billion tonnes over the life of the project.
Monash CTL Project, Victoria:
Monash Energy (Anglo American and Shell Gas and Power) propose a brown coal gasification plant in the Latrobe Valley to produce syngas for conversion into a range of liquid products. Captured CO2 could potentially be stored in the off-shore Gippsland Basin.
Munmorah PCC Project, New South Wales:
Australia’s national science agency CSIRO is working with Delta Electricity to test post-combustion carbon capture at a pilot plant at Munmorah Power Station on the New South Wales (NSW) Central Coast. This pilot plant became operational in February 2009, and evaluation of the capture technology and suitable CO2 absorbents will continue until 2013. The capital cost of the plant is $5 million.
Tarong PCC Project, Queensland:
In December 2010, CSIRO and Tarong Energy launched this post combustion capture plant in Queensland. This plant will test the use of amine-based solvents and aims to capture at a rate of 1500 tonnes per annum of CO2 from flue gases at the coal-fired facility. Trials are expected to be carried out until June 2011. Capital cost of the project is A$5 million.
ZeroGen Project, Queensland:
The Queensland Government, ACA and industry partners Shell Development and Zerogen propose a two stage coal gasification and CCS project “ZeroGen Mark II”. Stage 1 will be a 80 MW net plant located near Rockhampton and is expected to be operational by 2012. The CO2 will be captured and transported approximately 220km by pipeline for storage in the Denison Trough. Stage 2, a 300 MW net coal gasification plant, is proposed to come online by 2017.
Australia’s Carbon Capture and Storage Flagship Program:
As a part of Australian Government’s clean energy initiative, a $2 billion CCS Flagship program was announced in the 2009-2010 budget and it aims to build at least two, and up to four, industrial scale CCS projects in Australia with an electricity generating capacity of 1000 MW or equivalent size for other industrial processes. The Australian Government will fund up to one third of the non-commercial costs of CCS Flagship projects which are ultimately selected. The Flagships Program is expected to generate equal funding from responsible states and industry.
An Independent Assessment Panel (IAP) of technical and commercial experts to assist by assessing projects and providing recommendations to the Government.
Four projects were shortlisted by Australia’s CCS Flagship Program:
1. The Wandoan power project located north-west of Brisbane, Queensland, an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) coal fired power project.
2. The ZeroGen project located west of Gladstone in Queensland; also an IGCC project.
3. The Collie South West Hub located south of Perth in Western Australia in close proximity to the industrial centres of Kwinana and Collie and based around an integrated multi-user capture, transport and storage infrastructure project.
4. The CarbonNet proposal in Victoria’s La Trobe valley, another integrated multi-user capture, transport and storage infrastructure project, with sources of CO2 from electricity generating plans in that area.
For these shortlisted projects, Minister for Resources, Energy and Tourism announced A$120 million funding for pre-feasibility studies. The Government is confident that CCS technology will be demonstrated at a commercial scale by 2020.
Funding for CCS Projects in Australia:
The Australian Government recently announced funding of A$2 billion (US$1.62 billion) for CCS projects over the next nine years. Queensland has also allocated A$300 million (US$244 million) from the Queensland Future Growth Fund for research and development. The Australian Government and a number of States are members of the Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC). The CSIRO, Australia’s leading scientific research body has been involved in CCS research for several years.
Carbon Capture and Storage, Greenhouse gases, Cap and Trade