OPERATORS of Nirranda’s carbon capture project will know next month if the Commonwealth will continue funding the groundbreaking operation.
Cash for the CO2CRC will run out in June next year but the group is yet to hear if it has secured more for the following five years.
Dozens of energy and mining companies have invested in the project, in which carbon is injected into the earth and trapped by layers of rock.
CO2CRC spokesman Tony Steeper said the group expected to hear from the government in July. “It’s internationally recognised and the science is first class,” Mr Steeper said.
The CO2CRC group has told Moyne Shire it may have to decommission the site if funding is not renewed.
If it is, the project will continue drilling and injecting carbon while conducting seismic surveys.
Mr Steeper said work would continue even if Canberra did not fund the project but some cost-cutting would be needed.
“We would have to cut our costs, we’d be looking at our research,” he said. “But we are quite optimistic.”
Mr Steeper said the group had promised to rehabilitate the farm site once research was complete.