A study has been launched to identify a suitable site for the storage of carbon dioxide from a proposed new power station near Eneabba.
Energy, Resources and Industry and Enterprise Minister Francis Logan said the study could assist in the creation of the first base-load power station in Australia to use geosequestration.
The new power station is being proposed by one of Western Australia’s new electricity providers, Coolimba Power.
Coolimba Power has joined forces with the CO2-Co-operative Research Centre (CO2CRC) to undertake the $250,000 study.
Mr Logan said the Coolimba project could put WA at the forefront of low emission electricity production and geosequestration.
“If a suitable site is found, this project would see Coolimba become the first base-load power station in Australia to capture and geologically store carbon dioxide, depending on the outcomes of projects in other States,” he said.
“Geosequestration is the long-term storage of carbon dioxide and the State Government has been working on developing geosequestration projects in WA for several years.
“Through the use of cutting edge, low emission technology, this project will help to position WA as a leader in reducing greenhouse emissions from thermal power stations.
“A reduction of 90 per cent in carbon dioxide emissions is anticipated when the carbon capture and storage option is implemented at the power station and I am excited that industry is supporting this option in WA.”
Coolimba Power managing director Lindsay Reed said the company had plans to develop two low-emission power stations.
“The power stations will be designed to capture carbon dioxide easily and pump it underground for storage or geosequestration,” Mr Reed said.
“CO2CRC will investigate sites in the Eneabba region close to our proposed Coolimba Power Station site.
“This project is also the first base-load power project in the Mid-West region and will generate the equivalent of approximately eight per cent of the power distributed by the South West Integrated System.”
Construction of the power stations is expected to begin in 2009, with power production scheduled to start by 2012.
CO2CRC is one of the world’s leading research organisations focused on geosequestration and has been involved in various projects to identify potential sites in WA, including Harvey Ridge south of Perth near Lake Clifton.
CO2CRC chief executive officer Peter Cook said the project was exciting and provided another example of big business seriously taking the concerns for the environment into their future development plans.
“It’s great to see a company such as Coolimba Power considering its environmentally sustainable power supply options,” Mr Cook said.
“CO2CRC will provide Coolimba Power with a report that will list the potential carbon dioxide geological storage opportunities in the region.
“We have helped to identify potential geosequestration sites for other projects throughout the State and believe there is potential for Coolimba Power to become an early player in the application of carbon capture and storage as a way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
CO2CRC uses expertise from CSIRO Petroleum, Curtin University of Technology and other Australian and New Zealand tertiary institutions. The State Government, through the Department of Industry and Resources, is a member of the CO2CRC.
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