The Federal Government has announced that will allocate a slice of its $2 billion Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Flagship Program to testing the technology’s viability at four projects around the country.
Federal Minister for Resources and Energy Martin Ferguson yesterday announced the Government will spend up to $120 million on pre-feasibility work to further assess clean coal at coal-fired power stations in Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia.
The short-listed projects are the Collie South West Hub project southwest of Perth, the CarbonNet project in Victoria’s Latrobe Valley, the Wandoan power plant project northwest of Brisbane and the ZeroGen power plant project west of Gladstone in Queensland.
Ferguson said that the commercial development of CCS technology is vital to the global fight against climate change.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche said the timing of the announcement is significant given the United Nations climate change talks getting under way in Copenhagen.
“Our representatives at the Copenhagen climate talks have a positive story to tell their counterparts from around the world,” he said.
“With global energy forecasts pointing to increased fossil fuel consumption in the coming decades, large scale carbon capture and storage for coal and gas-fired power stations is a necessity if we are to have a realistic chance of managing carbon dioxide emissions.”
Ferguson said that the projects will need to prove the feasibility of the technology by 2011.