Carbon storage project lauded

PUMPING carbon into the earth may be the only way to make cut deep cuts to emissions, according to new research. 

The first major review of the CO2CRC carbon capture storage (CSS) project in Nirranda says the program could be used to back up coal and the fossil fuel industry. Professor Peter Cook, CO2CRC’s chief executive from 2003 to 2011, says it was unlikely carbon emitting industries will be scrapped. 

In the last decade, the Otway Project has injected and stored more than 60,000 tonnes of CO2 in a depleted gas reservoir deep underground.

“It would be foolish to ignore that for some countries, particularly developing countries, fossil fuels may be the only practical option for meeting energy and industrial needs,” Professor Cook said. 

“And whether the energy fuel of choice is coal or gas, CCS is the only technology available for making deep cuts in the emissions arising from that use.” His comments in the new book, Geologically Storing Carbon: Learning from the Otway Project Experience, coincides with the company’s push to have its federal government funding renewed. 

Funding for the CO2CRC project runs out in June next year. It had expected to find out in June this year but has prepared to decommission the site. According to Moyne Shire, the CO2CRC site will have to be rehabilitated if the project is shelved. 

CO2CRC chief executive Richard Aldous talked up the project. “CCS promises to be a vital part of any global response to climate change and the Otway Project has made and will, no doubt, continue to make a significant contribution to this unfolding endeavour.”

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