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Australian Minister for the Environment and Heritage
Senator the Hon. Ian Campbell
23 November 2006
The Australian Government will provide $60 million to support the world’s largest carbon dioxide capture and storage project in Western Australia, the Minister for the Environment and Heritage, Senator Ian Campbell said today.
The funding, from the Australian Government’s $500 million Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund, will support the Gorgon project operator Chevron with its CO2 Injection project.
“This project, which will capture carbon dioxide from the Gorgon gas field and inject it deep underground, has the potential to reduce Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to three million tonnes each year,” Senator Campbell said.
“The Australian Government’s funding provides for a commercial-scale demonstration project involving liquefying the carbon dioxide so it can be piped to the injection site, injecting it 2.5km underground into a geological structure. There will be long-term monitoring of the stored carbon dioxide to ensure its safety.
“Australia’s reserves of coal and gas are critical to our economic prosperity. Technological advances are needed to allow us to better use these resources more cleanly, and to capture and store their greenhouse gas emissions to prevent them from entering the atmosphere.
“Large scale commercial use of carbon capture and storage technologies offer Australia’s energy sector its single largest opportunity to reduce greenhouse gases. Scientific estimates suggest that up to 25 per cent of Australia’s carbon dioxide emissions could be stored in underground reservoirs each year.
“Through the Australian Government’s low emissions technology fund we’re forging ahead with a broad portfolio of technologies, including large-scale solar power, brown coal drying, oxy-firing of black coal, and enhanced gas recovery from coal seams with carbon dioxide sequestration.
“Lessons we learn from these demonstration projects will be used throughout Australia and internationally. Through the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate (AP6), Australia has an opportunity to share its knowledge and shape a low emissions future throughout some of the fastest growing economies in the world.
“Climate change is a global challenge, and the work we are funding and supporting in Australia will have a substantial impact on emission reduction options the world can choose from in the future,” Senator Campbell said. He said the project must still clear all relevant State and Commonwealth environmental approvals.
Media Contact: Regina Titelius 08 9421 1755 or 0419 099 324