Quick CO2 Facts

Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) is an energy intensive project that deals with part of the waste stream of fossil fuel projects and just relocates it.

Therefore, if the carbon footprint is increased CCS technology cannot be defined as sustainable (as the Coalition promote) for its primary source is to enable the continued use of fossil fuels redirecting precious investment dollars away from other renewable projects that aim to reduce the carbon footprint.

Community concerns – See Risk & Environment

  • Hazardous consequences associated with the failure of CO2 transportation pipelines as COis an asphyxiant displacing oxygen which can potentially lead to suffocation in confined and low lying areas. See
  • Whether carbon dioxide (CO2) can be stored securely and safely underground.
  • The containment of COto prevent leakage.
  • Potential for elevated COconcentrations to surface or shallow sub-surface that could negatively impact human health and safety as well as plants and animals living in the area.
  • Over-pressurising the formation resulting in fractures in upper seals potentially creating pathways for COto leak through the caprock.
  • Existing petroleum wells may allow upward migration through caprock which mobile CO2 might escape.
  • CO2 injection causing the movement of brine from deep saline formations into the freshwater zone which could contaminate drinking water supplies or sources of water for agricultural use.
  • Compromise of the primary dune barrier for pipeline infrastructure.
  • Substantial economic, social and liability risks to the community through CCS deployment.
  • The immense amount of taxpayer funding already committed on failed new coal projects to utilise this costly technology.
  • The failure of government to proactively invest in renewable energy options.

The CarbonNet project – See CarbonNet Project

  • The site preferred by CarbonNet is the nearshore option off Golden Beach with injection 7km from shoreline at 1km depth. ([1], [2])
  • This prioritised storage site is an anticline (subsurface dome structure) located approximately 4km offshore, and expected to have a capacity of at least 125 Million tonnes (25 years CO2 injection x 5Mtpa).
  • This area is in the moderate to good zone for seal capacity. ([3])
  • This site was chosen because it would be the least cost option and any further out could impact on existing hydrocarbon production.([4])
  • VIC State and Commonwealth will have co-regulatory roles and Acts to manage the transport and injection from state to CW waters.
  • GipNet will complete atmospheric baseline validation and an offshore appraisal well is planned to be drilled in 2019 to retrieve rock samples to allow scientists to assess the rock properties that will form the ‘cap rock’ and hold the stored COin place.
  • An evaluation of transport pipeline route to the selected injection site needs to be established.
  • For CCS to be successful, CarbonNet needs to attract private investment by 2020 as this is the end of the Federal government’s financial commitment in 2020

 CO2 transport – See CO2 Pipeline Failure

  • Captured CO2 is transported via pipelines in a near pure state approx. 100km from Latrobe Valley to Golden Beach.
  • Transport of supercritical CO2 via pipeline is much more dangerous than gas as it is more corrosive on pipe infrastructure and could create leaks.
  • Most economical means of transporting CO2 is in the supercritical state due to its low viscosity and high density.

Who pays? – See CEFC Bill

  • Will require long term monitoring of sequester site with costs largely borne by the public.
  • The regulatory framework that would support CCS on a commercial scale is complex with the crown (government) ultimately taking responsibility.
  • The Federal Coalition government is counting on the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to be able to invest in CCS technology to reduce risks to private investor. [5]

Where will the captured carbon come from?

  • Suitable potential carbon capture plants need to be established in Gippsland. Currently AGL Coal to Hydrogen is the only recognised carbon capture project in Latrobe Valley.
  • In less than 15 years there will only be two operational coal fired power stations (LoyYang A & B). The proposed HRL Dual Gas project never eventuated; Yallourn power station will be shutting down in 15 years; Hazelwood power station has already shut down which only leaves LoyYang  as the only viable supplier of coal fire power emissions.
  • A new High Energy Low Emissions (HELE) power station will not be built in Latrobe Valley due to the consequential subsidence and aquifer depletion from dewatering of the coal pits. ([6])

[1] http://earthresources.vic.gov.au/earth-resources/victorias-earth-resources/carbon-storage/the-carbonnet-project

[2] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-01-18/golden-beach-closes-for-seismic-survey-ahead-of-carbon-capture/9338562

[3] Basin-scale fluid flow in the Gippsland Basin: implications for geological carbon storage

[4] Source CSIRO – Basin Resource Management for Carbon Storage 2011, p. 20

[5] https://www.ninetymileagainstcarbonstorage.org.au/cefc-bill/

[6] file:///C:/Users/A660/Downloads/C87_Panel_Report_-_22_June_2015.pdf  p. 11