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Australian black coal producers are jointly funding a program to monitor carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) with the Federal Govenrment

It’s being undertaken in Victoria’s Otway Basin as a measure to reduce emissions from energy production.

The aim of the $45 million Otway Stage 3 Project was to develop low cost CCUS monitoring technologies as part of the ongoing Australian Coal industry commitment to reducing emissions, said Low Emissions Coal Australia CEO Mark McCallum.

The Otway project was another important step in securing global leadership for Australia in reducing  the cost of long-term carbon dioxide (CO2) storage and monitoring and securing ongoing community confidence in CCUS as a proven, safe technology, Mr McCallum said.

“If Australia is to meet its emissions reduction targets and avoid economic disruption, it is essential to maintain electricity supply reliability and affordability while reducing emissions,” he said.

“Coal-fired power plants can supply reliable, low-cost energy, however their CO2emissions need to be reduced.

“The use of safe, proven, reliable CCUS technology can support cost-effective, reliable and cleaner energy.”

The Otway Stage 3 Monitoring and Verification Project aimed to develop sub-surface storage technologies which reduce the cost and environmental footprint of long-term COstorage monitoring.

It would also provide regulators and communities with ongoing confidence that CO2 injected deep underground is permanently contained,” said Mr McCallum.

“It involves the drilling of five new wells equipped with the latest technologies in fibre optics sensing and sub-surface gauges,” he said.

“Through the injection of 15,000 tonnes of CO2, CO2CRC will test and validate subsurface monitoring technologies including seismic data acquisition techniques, pressure tomography imaging and the closely related technique of pressure inversion.  

“This industry-backed project will substantially reduce the cost of long-term CO2 storage monitoring activities and support the wider and ongoing deployment of CCUS across Australia and the world.”

Technical and scientific work is expected to be complete by June 2022.

The project is jointly funded by the Federal Government, black coal producers through COAL21 and ANLEC R&D, BHP and the Victorian Government.

Wikipedia refer to Carbon capture and storage (CCS) as the process of capturing waste carbon dioxide from large point sources, such as a biomasspower plant or a cement factory, transporting it to a storage site, and depositing it where it will not enter the atmosphere, normally an underground geological formation.

carbon capture cooperation