Insights and Commentaries

Insights and Commentaries

2024 Australia and Southeast Asia Forum on CCS: Recap

Key issues and topics of discussion related to CCS within the context of the regional transition to net-zero
28th March 2024

Over the second week of March, the Global CCS Institute was pleased to host the 2024 Australia and Southeast Asia Forum on Carbon Capture and Storage. The event brought together Institute members and a broad array of CCS proponents to network, share knowledge on key issues, and discuss CCS within the context of the regional transition to net-zero. The forum hosted representatives from governments across Asia (including Australia, Japan, Indonesia, and Malaysia, ), a broad array of industries, including cement, steel, hydrogen, fertilisers, oil and gas, insurance and corporate finance, and non-government organisations, including regional development cooperatives and multilateral development banks.

A broad spectrum of issues were covered during the three days of the forum. However, several key topics emerged, including: the potential for both domestic and offshore storage projects in Australia; the essential role and cost-competitiveness of CCS in hard-to-abate sectors; the rapid development of CCS in Southeast Asia which, with the right regulatory frameworks and policy measures in place, will position countries like Indonesia and Malaysia as regional CCS leaders; and the ever-evolving nature of social license and public engagement with regard to CCS.

APAC Forum Day One – 11 March

Opening day one, The Institute’s General Manager Knowledge and Analysis, Ian Havercroft, commented on the visible dynamism in the Asia Pacific region when it came to CCS development and encouraged proponents to recognise cooperation as the cornerstone of collective efforts to meet climate targets.

Speaking via video, The Hon Chris Bowen, Minister for Climate Change and Energy said, “achieving net-zero will require a mix of solutions, tools, and technologies as the IEA and IPCC and other experts have agreed, CCS will need to be part of that mix.” Noting the Australian Government’s continued work on CCS-related policy, the Minister said “…we want to create a stable business environment for investment in CCS to occur.”

The Hon Reece Whitby, Western Australian Minister for Energy, The Environment, and Climate Action, welcomed delegates to the state and highlighted the important role CCS would play in WA’s decarbonisation pathway.

Prof Peta Ashworth OAM, Director – Curtin Institute for Energy Transition, spoke on social license issues surrounding CCS. Dr Ashworth remarked that it was vital that proponents engage the broader public to ensure an understanding that CCS technologies are important as part of the transition to net-zero, and to particularly reinforce that they will not negatively impact the roll-out of renewable energy.

The Australian government perspectives on CCS opportunities and conducive policy frameworks were shared by:

  • Bronwyn Ray, Assistant Secretary [Branch Head], Decarbonisation Initiatives Branch - Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW)
  • Kara Peach, Manager, Review of Offshore CCS Regime - Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR)
  • Will Howard, Lead Scientist - Climate Change Authority

Bronwyn (DCCEEW) covered the domestic CCS policy landscape within the broader context of the Australian Government’s Net Zero Plan, while Kara (DISR) spoke on the regulation of offshore CCS projects, with particular focus on the enhancement of offshore regulatory frameworks. Dr Howard (CCA), explained the role of the Climate Change Authority and discussed the forthcoming sectoral pathways review.

During the afternoon, several representatives from hard-to-abate sectors presented on the cost-competitiveness and technology readiness of CCS in ammonia/hydrogen production and cement manufacturing. This was followed by several presentations on the potential development of multi-user hubs and infrastructure in Western Australia, with a particular focus on storage-as-a-service and incentive mechanisms (both regulatory and financial) to facilitate adoption. The final session of the day was comprised of short technology presentations, covering amine solution-based capture, modularised technology deployment, and several portfolio overviews.

APAC Forum Day Two – 12 March

The second day of the Forum was opened by the Institute’s General Manager External Affairs, Alex Zapantis, who discussed the necessity and enormous potential for CCS across Asia.

Representatives from the Japanese, US, and Australian governments followed. Kenta Asahina, Specialist for Research and Development, Oil and Gas Division, Agency for Natural Resources and Energy - Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI), The Government of Japan, provided an overview of recent work the Government had undertaken to enhance regional collaboration on CCS and develop a regulatory framework for CCUS.

 Mark Ackiewicz, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Carbon Management - US Department of Energy, gave insight into the DOE’s Carbon Management work program, as well as the various successes and lessons learned from various policy and funding initiatives.

Jocelyn Taylor, Director, CCUS & Hydrogen Collaboration – Australia Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water (DCCEEW), presented candidly on Australia’s regional collaboration efforts surrounding CCS and hydrogen, and policy hurdles facing the transboundary movement of CO2 under the London Protocol.

Although unrelated to the occasion of the Forum, several delegates and speakers noted the second reading, that day, of a bill in the West Australian Parliament that, if passed, would regulate onshore CCUS activities. During the reading, the Global CCS Institute was mentioned on several occasions, both in relation to global CCS data and with regard to work conducted with CSIRO on the potential for the technology in WA.

Representatives of Howden Insurance Brokers presented on the company’s first-of-kind insurance facility, which covers the leakage of carbon dioxide from commercial-scale CCS facilities. The facility aims to de-risk projects, providing access to diverse funding sources at lower capital cost for project developers. This was followed by a robust panel discussion on de-risking the CCUS value chain to encourage investment, with questions from the audience covering various aspects of financing and insuring projects, long-term liability, credit risks, and so on.

The afternoon was separated into several key sessions. Following lunch, several speakers provided insight into the development of CCS in Japan, covering broad areas including policy and regulation, finance, international collaboration, and transport. Japan continues to hold a key position as a regional convenor and facilitator on CCS and is making important progress on developing CO2 shipping technology.

The final session of the day included presenters from Southeast Asia, who covered Indonesia’s vision for CCS, the potential and possible deployment of CCS in India, and pipeline infrastructure technologies and considerations. A panel discussion on CCS hubs across Southeast Asia – delving into the complexity of market growth, galvanising political willpower around climate action, and expediting CCS in the regional response closed the day out.

The third and final day of the Forum comprised a two-way information sharing session between the Australian Government and CCS proponents, industry representatives, and project developers.

The Institute would like to thank the Forum sponsors, including:

  • Invest & Trade Western Australia
  • Mitsui E&P Australia
  • Pilot Energy
  • Woodside Energy
  • Mid-West Development Commission
  • LETA
  • Howden Insurance Brokers
  • ExxonMobil
  • The CarbonNet Project (Victorian Government)
  • Business Events Perth

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Visit to Gorgon CCS Facility

The Forum was preceded by a site visit to Chevron’s Gorgon facility. Delegates, including several staff from the Global CCS Institute toured the facility, including the capture plant and one of two injection sites. Despite project setbacks, Gorgon is currently storing 1.6 million tonnes of CO2 per year, with over 9 million tonnes stored since operations began in 2019.

Gorgon, located on Barrow Island, comprises a three-train, 15.6 million tonnes per annum LNG facility. Reservoir CO2 is injected into a giant sandstone formation two kilometres under Barrow Island.

The Institute’s General Manager External Affairs, Alex Zapantis, highlighted the importance of the scale of projects like Gorgon. “For comparison, according to the Australian Emissions Reduction Fund Register, the largest abatement project to which Australian Carbon Credit Units were issued between 2012 and now has delivered about 3 million tonnes of CO2 abatement over 12 years. Gorgon has permanently and safely stored roughly three times that amount in four years. We need every last tonne of abatement and we certainly need multi-megatonne projects like Gorgon,” he said.

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This piece was written by Matt Steyn, Public Affairs Manager, APAC with the Global CCS Institute.

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