ExxonMobil Launches Study for Carbon Capture in South East Australia
ExxonMobil is beginning design studies for a carbon capture hub to be located in South East Australia. They are joining a growing number of projects outlined to meet the Australian government’s goals to accelerate carbon capture and storage. Chevron launched Australia’s first CCS site in August 20219 reporting it had captured and stored more than 5.5 million metric tons of CO2 by the end of 2021.
The Australian government in December 2021 identified carbon capture and storage as a priority low emissions technology under its Technology Investment Roadmap. They committed to investing A$300 million (US$225 million) over the next ten years to the capture, storage, and use of CO2. This includes a A$30 million fund that is prioritizing six projects including a demonstration plant that captures and uses CO2 to produce manufacturing and construction materials, and another that would use CO2 to improve the quality of recycled concrete, masonry, and steel slag. The other projects focus on the capture and storage at sites including a coal-fired power station and LNG production site.
The South East Australia carbon capture and storage (SEA CCS) hub envisioned by ExxonMobil would initially use existing infrastructure to store CO2 in the depleted Bream field off the coast of Gippsland, Victoria. ExxonMobil said it is undertaking early front-end engineering design studies to determine the potential for carbon capture and storage from multiple industries in the Gippsland Basin.
“Collaboration with other industries is an important step to unlock future carbon capture and storage opportunities for Australia, with the potential for large-scale reductions in the highest emitting industrial sectors,” said Joe Blommaert, president of ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions. “Sound government policies will accelerate the deployment of key technologies required to support society’s ambition for a net-zero future.”
The project concept envisions the capture of up to two million metric tons of CO2 per year. If technical and business feasibility is confirmed, the SEA CCS hub could be operational by 2025.