Glencore has been a long-term supporter of carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and support the global transition to a low carbon economy. The International Energy Agency (IEA) views CCS as a ‘key technology’ in this transition.
The key objective of the CTSCo Project is to demonstrate carbon capture from a power station and evaluate the feasibility of storage by injection testing of the captured CO2 in the Surat Basin in Queensland.
The project is intended as a first step toward large-scale CCS, with the potential for emissions from multiple other industrial sources being captured and safely stored.
A deep sandstone formation within the Surat Basin provides the right conditions for long-term geological storage of large volumes of CO2.
We gratefully acknowledge the ongoing technical and funding support from a range of organisations that make a vital contribution to this project.
We are also grateful for the specialist researchers who support us, including scientists and leading technical experts who have been engaged to undertake specific scientific studies and programs in the areas of geology, geophysics, storage and water.
Leading institutions involved include University of Queensland, University of Melbourne, Australian National University, University of Texas, Simon Fraser University (Calgary), CSIRO and Institute of Mine Seismology Pty Ltd.
CTSCo holds a number of CCS tenements in the Surat Basin, Australia. The Surat Basin was identified in the 2010 Queensland CO2 Geological Storage Atlas as having the potential to store up to 3 billion tonnes of CO2. The project was named under the Australian Government’s Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Flagship program during the Rudd Government.
In October 2014, CTSCo received funding from the COAL 21 Fund. This followed the successful completion of the pre-feasibility study under the CCS Flagship including confirmation of geological suitability for CO2 storage within the awarded tenement of EPQ7 in the northern Surat Basin.
Between 2015 and 2019, a feasibility study was undertaken in the northern Surat Basin, near Wandoan. This activity included drilling exploration wells for appraisal and environmental monitoring. It also included advanced in-field technical studies on the geology, water and surface soil, air and groundwater for storage potential.
During this period, CTSCo actively engaged with the local community regarding the proposed test injection program. This included community baseline survey, one-on-one meetings with local community and landowners, community drop-in sessions, a community meeting, presentations to the local conservation group and other regional non-governmental organisations.
In response to stakeholder feedback and in consultation with regulators, CTSCo proactively decided to move the injection testing location from exploration Greenhouse Gas (GHG) storage permit EPQ7 in the north of the Surat Basin, to EPQ10 in the south of the Surat Basin.
In 2020, CTSCo began field work and drilled an appraisal well at a site in the southern Surat Basin, west of Moonie to a depth of 2.3 kilometres. The data collected from this well confirmed the viability of the location in terms of the porosity and permeability of the geology to inject CO2.
A second well was drilled in 2021 for monitoring and verification during injection testing. Sampling was conducted of rock and groundwater to continue to evaluate the site.
In April 2021, CTSCo and China Huaneng Group Clean Energy Research Institute Co Ltd signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for cooperation on CCS technology. CTSCo will use China Huaneng's CO2 capture technology at the Millmerran Power Station in Queensland.
CTSCo continued to evaluate the feasability of the EPQ10 site near Moonie, Queensland for the storage of CO2.
In February 2022, CTSCo commenced the environmental approvals process with the Queensland Government for the injection testing project. The approvals process is expected to conclude in 2023.
In June 2022, Marubeni Corporation and Electric Power Development Co (J-POWER) provided AUD$10 million each in funding to the project.
The CTSCo Project is located in the southern part of the Surat Basin in Queensland, more than 400 kilometres west of Brisbane, making it close to a number of industrial emission sources.
The Australian Government’s National Carbon Storage Taskforce report and the Queensland Government Greenhouse Gas Storage Atlas identified the Surat Basin as a key geological storage area for CO2.
The Atlas concluded that there are almost 3 billion tonnes of theoretical CO2 storage potential available in the Basin. The Precipice Sandstone (aquifer) accounts for 1.3 billion tonnes of this theoretical storage potential.
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In 2019, CTSCo secured the EPQ10 greenhouse gas (GHG) exploration permit located in the southern Surat Basin. The project currently has approval to undertake exploration work over the permit area.
Exploration activities include:
- drilling wells to determine geology and water quality
- environmental and social baseline studies to support the approvals process
- seismic surveys to determine geological structures and features.
The project will be seeking approval for small-scale CO2 injection testing via an injection well deep into a rock formation more than two kilometres below the surface.
Find out more about regulatory approvals, environmental assessment and social assessment on our sustainability page.
CTSCo is partnering with the China Huaneng Group (CHG), shareholder in the Millmerran Power Station in Queensland, to develop CO2 capture technology for existing power stations.
We have completed feasibility and front-end engineering design studies into delivering an integrated post-combustion capture (PCC) plant at Millmerran.
The plant will capture 110,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, ready for transport.
CTSCo's injection testing of the CO2 storage is a potential pathway to an industrial scale storage hub in Queensland, capable of servicing multiple industries, including power generation, hydrogen production, cement manufacturing, steel manufacturing, fertiliser production and chemical manufacturing.
Since receiving a greenhouse gas (GHG) exploration permit – at EPQ10 – in the southern part of the Surat Basin in 2019, we have conducted exploration and appraisal activities within the tenement, including successful drilling of wells.
These activities aim to confirm the location for the injection testing project and provide foundation data for future industrial scale CO2 storage.
With funding support from the Australian Government, Low Emission Technologies Australia (LETA) (formerly COAL21), Australian National Low Emissions Coal (ANLEC) R&D Limited, Marubeni Corporation and Electric Power Development Co (J-POWER), Glencore expects to make a final investment decision on the CTSCo Project following approvals processes.
CTSCo is undertaking an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for its carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in the Surat Basin.
The EIS provides details on the following:
- project description for the injection testing
- description of the existing environment, including social and cultural matters of the site and regional areas
- potential impacts on environmental, social and cultural matters
- avoidance and mitigation measures.
We are committed to ensuring there is environmental rigour and integrity around the approvals associated with the injection testing project.
CTSCo has engaged with the local community and key stakeholders, and their feedback has led to several important changes and improvements which have been captured in the EIS. This includes the location of the injection site, transport of CO2, location of onsite infrastructure associated with the injection testing project, and further discussion on the potential impacts on groundwater.
Public consultation feedback has been incorporated into the final EIS which has been submitted to the Department of Environment and Science (DES) for assessment.
The draft EIS public submission period closed in late February 2023. Feedback received during this process has been incorporated into the final EIS. You can review the final EIS by using the links below.
CTSCo has submitted the final EIS to the Department of Environment and Science (DES) for assessment.
The DES will prepare the EIS Assessment Report, giving CTSCo the report, and publishing the report.