Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships program
The Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships (CCS Flagships) Program was established in May 2009 and supports the construction and demonstration of large-scale integrated CCS projects in Australia.
The program promotes the wider dissemination of CCS technologies by supporting a small number of demonstration projects that capture CO2 emissions from industrial processes, provide transport infrastructure (generally pipelines) and safely store CO2 underground in stable geological formations.
Key priorities of the CCS Flagship projects include:
- multi-user infrastructure — development of storage sites in high-emission regions, with pipeline infrastructure to support the transport of CO2 from regional emission sources.
- integrated capture and storage — projects that demonstrate technologies and geologies for capture and storage of CO2. Capture technologies may include coal gasification, post-combustion capture and oxy-firing in the case of coal fired electricity generation plants and similar technologies for other industrial projects.
The first stage of the CCS Flagships program was to shortlist a number of projects nominated by state governments. The four shortlisted projects (December 2009) were:
- The Wandoan power project— located north-west of Brisbane, Queensland, an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle (IGCC) coal fired power station.
- The ZeroGen project— located west of Gladstone in Queensland, also an IGCC project.
- The 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.
- The CarbonNet project — in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, another integrated multi-user capture, transport and storage infrastructure project, with sources of CO2 from electricity generation and industry in that area.
On 11 June 2011, the Western Australian South West Hub project was selected. The project has progressed under a staged and gated approach, with an initial focus on proving up suitable geological storage. The scope of the project has subsequently been reduced, as a result of an independent review undertaken in April 2015. Activity will continue on the analysis of essential geological data and drill core samples which were successfully collected from Harvey Wells 2-4 under the SWH project. The findings of this work will be made available to future industrial users, in order to help increase the knowledge of the geology of the region, and its potential for carbon storage.
A copy of the final independent Review Report can be found here:
On 10 February 2012, the CarbonNet project was selected as the second project for funding through the feasibility stage. Up to $100 million ($70 million from the Australian Government and $30 million from the Victorian Government) was made available for the feasibility stage work which will be predominantly focussed on modelling and testing of potential CO2 storage sites.
Grants and funding
The Australian Government has confirmed funding of over $125 million in its May 2014 Budget to allow the South West hub and CarbonNet projects to complete their stage gated commitments.
The Education Investment Fund (EIF) provides $100 million to fund the research infrastructure component for short-listed projects. This requires partnering with an eligible research institution, such as universities, for collaborative research into CCS.
For more information about the CCS Flagships program, email LowEmissions@industry.gov.au.