CSIRO and the Northern Territory government have partnered with industry and engineering businesses to develop the blueprint for a large scale, low emissions Carbon Capture Utilisation and Storage Hub (CCUS) in Middle Arm.
In assessing the viability of the hub to reduce emissions in the NT, the hub would be one of the largest multi-user, multi-access hubs in the world. It would ensure the Territory continues to maximise its energy resources while preparing for economic growth, job creation and meeting strong international market demand for low emissions energy.
“The Northern Territory is a natural fit for this investment. We are home to world-class natural gas and solar resources and subsurface carbon dioxide storage capacity, and we are on the doorstep of key international energy export markets,” NT chief minister Michael Gunner said.
“We are committed to working to identify ways to rapidly decarbonise existing energy supplies whilst attracting future zero emission industries to the Territory.”
The new hub would allow an interconnected hydrogen industry to be built and the utilisation of the carbon captured in other industrial processes, such as producing other non-fossil fuel alternatives for transportation.
The business case will also outline how to significantly reduce the emissions of the Territory’s gas industry, providing a tangible pathway towards the net zero emissions targets set by the Northern Territory government and industry proponents.
CSIRO will provide impartial scientific advice, coordinate the development of detailed concept designs, build international linkages and conduct geological research and economic and customer studies.
“As Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO is always looking for ways to bring business and government together to envision and deliver a more sustainable future for some of our largest industries,” CSIRO chief executive Dr Larry Marshall said.
“If the Hub proceeds it could create new jobs and export pathways, and give Australia a global advantage by pushing the boundaries of science and technology to put home-grown innovation into real world demonstration projects, particularly through our Hydrogen Industry and Towards Net Zero missions.”
Industry and engineering companies who have committed to collaborating on the business case include Santos, INPEX, Woodside, Eni, Origin Energy and Xodus.
“The INPEX-led Ichthys Joint Venture is proud to explore sustainable energy solutions through the development of the Northern Territory Low Emissions Hub Business Case,” INPEX vice president of Growth Phil Granger said.
“Options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from the Ichthys Field have been identified, and we look forward to progressing these in partnership with the Northern Territory Government, CSIRO and other Hub participants.”
The NT will play a major role in the region’s uptake of carbon capture and storage, a key part of the global climate change solution.
“Santos’ experience with the globally-competitive Moomba CCS project in outback South Australia and our proposed project at Bayu-Undan in Timor Leste, will bring invaluable experience to the Northern Territory and we are delighted to partner with the CSIRO, governments and industry along this decarbonisation pathway,” Santos managing director and CEO Kevin Gallagher said.
The hub would also be key in establishing the Territory’s Middle Arm Sustainable Development Precinct, which will be a globally competitive precinct for low emission petrochemicals, renewable hydrogen and minerals processing.
The Northern Territory government will host an official signing of the collaboration agreement, to develop the proposal at the South East Asia Australia Offshore & Onshore Conference (SEAAOCC) in Darwin next month.