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Carbon capture and storage

The most commonly discussed low emissions coal technology is Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS).

CCS is the process whereby carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are captured from large industrial facilities – such as power stations – and are then transported through pipelines and permanently stored in deep, secure underground geological formations. This process stops those emissions from going into the atmosphere.

CCS will enable NSW to manage coal resources in a sustainable manner and will enable coal to continue to contribute to the NSW economy in a carbon-constrained world. By reducing emissions from industry, CCS will also help with the transition to low-carbon electricity generation.

Projects funded by Coal Innovation NSW Fund to make NSW storage ready include the NSW CO2 Storage Assessment Program and the Delta carbon capture and storage demonstration project.

Delta carbon capture and storage demonstration project

The challenge:

To demonstrate the full carbon capture and storage value chain at a pilot scale in NSW.

The action:

The Coal Innovation NSW Fund was a co-contributor to the Delta CCS Demonstration project which conducted preliminary feasibility studies into demonstrating CCS in NSW.

The project:

The aim of the Delta Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project was to demonstrate the feasibility of Post Carbon Capture (PCC) technology in the NSW context.

The NSW Government, Commonwealth Government (under National Low Emission Coal Initiative (NLECI) funding) and Low Emission Technology Australia (LETA) signed a funding agreement with Delta Electricity to initiate an assessment stage for the Delta Demonstration Project. The project was officially announced on 25 March 2010.

A front-end engineering design (FEED) study was completed by Worley Parsons in November 2011. The complete functional design accounted for a capture rate of 100,000 tonnes of CO2/year with the main PCC capture reagents [monoethanolamine (MEA), ammonia (NH3) and amino acid salts].

Complementing the FEED, a Parsons Brinkerhoff study examining the economics of various methods for transporting the captured CO2 from the power station to the storage site also showed that roads offered the best value for money over short to medium distances for small volumes of CO2 captured from a small demonstration site. Combining these results, a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) was then conducted through Coakes Consulting. This was a six-phase assessment which included profiling, scoping, impact assessment, strategy development, reporting and monitoring and management.

Overall, the results gathered from Stage 1 of the Delta Carbon Capture and Storage Demonstration Project have proved crucial to understanding the many complex planning requirements of enabling PCC technology in the NSW context.

This project ceased in 2014. Further details can be found in the Coal Innovation NSW 2013-14 Report to Parliament.

For more information on CCS

Read our CCS facts and FAQs:

Or visit other industry and government bodies leading research in the CCS space: