insight banner

A word from the CEO

Carbon Removal

$9.5m Federal Government grants to boost international efforts to advance CCUS

CO2CRC would not exist but for the collaboration and shared purpose of our members and stakeholders. And that spirit of collaboration is essential to carry us forward in leading innovation and development of carbon capture, utilisation and storage.

Amongst our most important collaborators are governments and their agencies, and we have again seen that confirmed in recent weeks.

The Australian Government has joined with the Republic of Korea and Japan to provide additional support for CO2CRC’s efforts to advance the development and innovation of carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) technologies.

Australian Climate Change and Energy Minister Chris Bowen approved three grants this month totalling $9.5 million aimed in part at fostering greater collaboration of businesses and research institutions in Australia with those in the Republic of Korea and Japan. The support enables CO2CRC to leverage significant additional private and non-Commonwealth support.

The grants are being provided as part of the Australian Government’s International CCUS Research Partnerships program.

The program aims to advance the development and innovation of CCUS technologies, with the goal of accelerating the production and uptake of clean energy to reduce emissions and help support new economic opportunities, including clean hydrogen, fertiliser, and low-emission steel, and the application of Direct Air Capture in different geographical locations.

The Australian Government funding has been allocated to three CO2CRC projects:

  • $4.62 million to enhance the injectivity of carbon dioxide,
  • $1.58 million to develop high-resolution shallow monitoring techniques at the Otway International Test Centre
  • $3.30 million for the Strategic Optimisation of CCUS projects.

The Australian Commonwealth funding matches the existing commitment of $9.5M from the Japanese and Korean Governments.

International collaboration – such as the partnerships Australia has with Japan and the Republic of Korea – is critical on key policy, regulatory and technical matters to enhance further and progress the development of this essential technology. CO2CRC conducts commercially relevant demonstrations with its partners at the Otway International Test Centre, accelerating the development of vital technologies required to achieve the legislated 2030 and 2050 emission reduction targets in Australia, Japan and Korea.  

The funding reflects the Australian Government’s commitment to:

  • improvement in the technology readiness and commercial readiness of CCUS technologies that support the development of Australia’s clean energy industries, particularly those that are key enablers of export opportunities
  • supporting the development of clean energy technologies that will advance decarbonisation efforts domestically and globally to transition to net zero emissions, in line with the Paris Agreement
  • strengthening connections between Australian innovators, researchers and businesses with international partners and opportunities
  • attracting greater investment in accelerating the development of clean energy technologies in Australia by key trading partners and the private sector and supporting the creation of new economic opportunities in Australia
  • increasing local jobs, skills, and capabilities in emerging clean energy industries

CO2CRC is excited to work with its members and project partners, the Japanese RITE, the Korean KIGAM, Curtin University, Geoscience Australia, The University of Melbourne, Stanford University, and others towards those goals.  


Dr Matthias Raab, CEO.


Santos Moomba CCS Project to start later this year

Another major development in Australian CCS is well in progress with Santos announcing that $30million worth of equipment including a compressor and turbine, required to start is Moomba CCS project later this year, is about to arrive on Site. The project is envisioned to store up to 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide annually from a range of emission sources, in depleted oil and gas reservoirs. Santos also plans to undertake trials of Direct Air Capture at its Moomba site.


Mitsui Completes Successful Test Injection at WA CCS Site

Mitsui Dr Matthias Raab

Mitsui E&P Australia in conjunction with project partner, Kwinana-based Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers, last week successfully completed a CO2 Injection Test, part of the initial stage of their Cygnus Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Hub, based in the Mid West region of Western Australia.

The project aims to store CO2, which is produced at industrial facilities such as WesCEF’s ammonia manufacturing plant, in depleted gas fields, to help reduce emissions as well as support decarbonisation of their operations. We congratulate the Mitsui E&P Australia (MEPAU) team on the successful and seamless completion of their pilot injection. This milestone marks another significant step towards achieving Australia’s 2030 and 2050 targets for the reduction of carbon emissions.

Projects like these are pivotal in the decarbonisation of industry. From fertilizers to steel, cement to plastics, chemicals, and beyond, every sector emitting CO2 is a target for transformation. The innovation and dedication demonstrated by the Mitsui team underscores the collective effort needed to accelerate the rollout of Carbon Capture and Storage as a means to materially reduce industrial CO2 emissions.

CO2CRC Limited’s CEO Matthias Raab PhD, was privileged to be present at the injection with Mitsui’s Joe Ariyaratnam, Vice President, Development, and Ken Yamamura, Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer.

Genna OITC Presenting

OITC Open Day Popular

The OITC was the place to be on Saturday with farmers, regulators, students, retirees, oil and gas industry workers, sea changers and even the local scout camp operator converging on CO2CRC’s International Test Centre to learn more about carbon capture and storage and the globally significant research CO2CRC has been undertaking at Nirranda South for almost 20 years.

Visitors were treated to site tours led by CO2CRC’s COO, Paul Barraclough, and informative presentations from reservoir engineer, Genna Petho (above right), along with barista coffee and a gourmet barbeque lunch prepared by parents from the Nullawarre Primary School.

Open Days at the OITC are a great way for the local community to see first hand what we do at our research site and have any questions or concerns addressed by our CCS experts.


Critical Nature of Underground Hydrogen Storage Highlighted by CO2CRC 2024 Underground Hydrogen Storage Workshop



IMG 2824 scaled

CO2CRC organised and hosted the second Underground Hydrogen Storage Industry Workshop on 22 February. This sold-out event addressed the issues and challenges that must be overcome before the field-scale projects, which are needed to demonstrate the viability of underground hydrogen storage (UHS), can be undertaken. In addition to covering the technical and operational aspects of hydrogen storage in salt caverns and depleted reservoirs, the workshop also included discussion of the commercial and regulatory issues that will influence the future of UHS deployment in Australia.

The workshop provided important insights into the current status of UHS research in Australia and overseas, and progress towards demonstration projects. There was consensus that UHS in Australia is likely to be deployed as a large-scale store of energy that can mitigate short-term and seasonal variability in renewable energy supply and provide energy on demand. Regulatory and economic uncertainty are important constraints on implementing a UHS trials in Australia. Current regulations in most States do not allow hydrogen storage in the subsurface, although this may change as several jurisdictions are embarking on regulatory reform. There are significant uncertainties in the economics of UHS, particularly in respect of costs, revenues and likely markets.

The workshop concluded that even though several demonstration projects are on foot in Europe, there is still an imperative for similar projects in Australia.


Brumby wells good scaled

Researching the impact of faults on CO2 storage

The earth’s subsurface is, in its nature, very varied and uneven, and this provides significant challenges to scientists and engineers in predicting the exact behaviour of carbon dioxide when it is stored deep underground. While we are sure that when carbon dioxide is stored very deep underground, below a series of cap rocks, or dissolved into formation water, it will not make its way to the surface or into drinking or agricultural water supplies, more work is needed to determine the detail of what happens when carbon dioxide meets a geological fault. At the Otway International Test Centre, we have already seen carbon dioxide stored underground, redirected by a fault deep in the subsurface. While this stored carbon dioxide remained in the targeted storage area, seismic showed that a plume of carbon dioxide slightly changed direction when it encountered an area of rock deep in the subsurface that had lower permeability due to faulting.

In CO2CRC’s shallow fault experiment, CO2CRC is working with Geoscience Australia, the Japanese Research Institute of Innovative Technology for the Earth and Curtin University to determine what happens when carbon dioxide meets a fault. This research is being undertaken in a relatively shallow area at the Otway International Test Centre, about 100m below the surface. Up to 16 tonnes of carbon dioxide will be used for this experiment, and we will use seismic and subsurface gauges and surface monitors to track the behaviour of the stored gas. The collected data will enhance the modelling of carbon dioxide behaviour when it is stored deep in the subsurface. Planning and data collection for this experiment commenced in 2018, with an extensive dataset collected, including rock core and water levels. The operational component of this research will occur from mid April this year.


Follow CO2CRC today on LINKEDIN to keep up to date with the latest news on our ground-breaking demonstration and research projects.

CCUS fundamentals

CO2CRC Training and Education

At CO2CRC, we believe that effective CCUS education and training is a vital element in shaping a sustainable, low-emission future. As such, we are dedicated to equipping a wide array of stakeholders, including industry experts, policymakers, investors, scientists, and the general public, with the knowledge and tools necessary to achieve their emission reduction targets. CO2CRC provides a range of general CCUS educational courses as well as technology specific and tailored CCUS training.  Upcoming courses over the next few months include:

Contact  Max Watson for more information on 0420 209 277.

CCS Fundamentals - April 3 2024 - FILLING FAST

CO2CRC are offering a full day “CCUS Fundamentals” course to provide targeted knowledge exchange on all things CCUS to upskill you or your team in CCUS. This course will provide share our knowledge on the technical, geological, and economic aspects of CCUS and the invaluable opportunity to understand the applications and potential of CCUS in Australia and Internationally.

Our foundation level course will be held in Melbourne on the 3rd of April, and also virtually on the 5th of June 2024.


CCUS Principals, Practices and Applications Course May 7-9 2024

For a deeper dive into the emerging industry of CCUS, join us for our comprehensive training course, “CCUS Principles, Practices, and Applications.” Developed by CO2CRC, Australia’s leading research organisation in CCUS, this course is designed to equip participants with a relevant, practical understanding of the technical principles and engineering solutions applicable to CCUS. Led by Australia’s foremost experts in CCUS, this intermediate course will provide invaluable insights into CCUS, ensuring participants leave with a robust grasp of its application across a range of industries.

Our 3-day CCUS Principles, Practices, and Applications Course will be held in Melbourne from May 7th to 9th 2024.


Energy Transition News

Feb 26 – Germany’s latest ‘net zero’ plan involves storing carbon dioxide underground beneath the sea– Fortune. Germany plans to enable underground carbon storage at offshore sites, pushing ahead with a much-discussed technology in an acknowledgement that time is running out to combat climate change, the country’s vice chancellor said Monday.

Feb 25 – Santos in talks with Sanjeev Gupta on Whyalla steelworks upgrade– AFR Oil and gas group Santos is in discussions with British industrialist Sanjeev Gupta for an upgraded Whyalla steelworks to potentially become the first domestic customer for the $330 million carbon capture and storage project at Moomba.

Feb 22 – University of Sheffield’s Energy Innovation Centre partners with Drax to advance carbon capture research Renewable energy company Drax has become the latest founder member of the University of Sheffield’s newly-launched Energy Innovation Centre, to drive forward research into next generation carbon capture technology.

Feb 20 – New research converts waste carbon dioxide into carbon-free fuel – Techexplorist Researchers at the University of Auckland have developed a method to convert waste carbon dioxide into a precursor for chemicals and carbon-free fuel.

Feb 19 – Government approves Teesworks net zero power station Plans to build a net zero power station on Teesside have received government backing. The secretary of state for energy security and net zero has granted a development consent order for the Net Zero Teesside Power scheme.

Feb 19 – New Interactive Tool Shows EU’s Funding Distribution Across The Carbon Capture Sector – Carbon Herald As the EU is working towards developing the nascent CCUS sector on the continent, the European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency (CINEA) has recently launched a new digital tool, showing the CCUS initiatives across Europe and how the EU funding is distributed across the carbon capture sector.

Feb 19 – We can’t escape a carbon tax, which is good news, not bad – SMH When economists are at their best, they speak truth to power. And that’s just what two of our best economists, Professor Ross Garnaut and Rod Sims, did this week. In their own polite way, they spoke out against the blatant self-interest of our (largely foreign-owned) fossil fuel industry.

Feb 15 – Shell lowers LNG growth view as demand set to peak in 2040s – AFR Shell says demand for liquefied natural gas by 2040 will be slightly lower than previously forecast as the world prepares for life beyond fossil fuels.

Feb 15 – Indonesia, Singapore sign outline pledge on carbon storage – Reuters Singapore has become the first country to sign a letter of intent with Indonesia on cross-border collaboration on CCS following a new Indonesian law to allow it.

Feb 13 – Global carbon markets value hit record $949 bln last year – Reuters The value of traded global markets for carbon dioxide permits reached a record 881 billion euros in 2023, a 2% increase on the previous year.

Feb 10 – Bowen has unfinished business as climate reform arrives – AFR Chris Bowen’s signature Safeguard Mechanism has helped put the nation on a pathway to net zero by 2050 with an effective cap and trade scheme.

Feb 9 – BlueScope, Rio Tinto and BHP join forces on plan for low carbon steel future -ABC Australia’s biggest steelmaker and the nation’s largest iron ore producers have announced a new collaboration aimed to create a pathway to decarbonise steel production.

Feb 9 – Farmer fury over carbon capture prompts court action– The Australian Farmers are preparing to launch legal action against the federal government in a bid to force Environment Minister Tanya Plibersek to reassess mining giant Glencore’s proposal to dump carbon dioxide waste in the aquifers of the Great Artesian Basin.

Feb 6 – EU unveils controversial climate target: what scientists think – Nature The European Commission has unveiled an ambitious climate target for 2040 — aiming to cut net greenhouse-gas emissions by 90% compared with 1990 levels. Researchers say that the goal, although admirable, risks relying too much on technologies such as carbon removal.

Feb 6 – Mitsui O.S.K. Lines & JX To Develop Carbon Capture Value Chain Between Japan & Australia – Carbon Herald Japanese shipping company Mitsui O.S.K. Lines (MOL) and compatriot energy firm JX Nippon Oil & Gas Exploration Corporation have signed a memorandum of understanding to develop a CCS value chain between Japan and Australia, including marine transport of carbon dioxide.

Feb 6 – POET and Summit Carbon Solutions announce carbon capture partnership – Hyrdrocarbonengineering. POET and Summit Carbon Solutions have announced a partnership connecting the world’s largest biofuel producer with the world’s largest carbon capture and storage project.

Feb 6- Italy’s Snam sounds out interest for carbon capture, hydrogen projects – Reuters Snam (SRG.MI), is officially launching a market test for hydrogen demand in Italy and a collection of expressions of interest for CO2 transport and storage, the gas grid operator said on Monday.

Feb 4 – Project delays put Australia’s Japanese hydrogen hopes at risk – AFR Uncertainties are jeopardising Australia’s chance to become a major hydrogen supplier as Japan is poised to up investment in green energy tech.

Feb 4 – Why The U.S. Leads The World In Reducing Carbon Emissions – Forbes Per the 2023 Statistical Review of World Energy, over the past 15 years, the U.S. has experienced the largest decline in carbon dioxide equivalent emissions of any country.

Feb 1- Light-sensitive molecules could make carbon capture more efficient – New Scientist Molecules called photoacids could offer a more energy-efficient way to release carbon dioxide captured from the air in order to store or reuse it.


Know a friend or colleague who would be interested in CO2CRC’s Insights Newsletter?

Tell them to subscribe below