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Glencore's carbon storage project in Australia halted due to groundwater risk – 05/24/2024 at 08:28

Glencore's carbon storage project in Australia halted due to groundwater risk – 05/24/2024 at 08:28

((Automatic translation by Reuters, see disclaimer https://bit.ly/rtrsauto))

(Updated throughout the year with details and comments from Glencore and other companies) Peter Hobson

A Glencore GLEN.L carbon capture and storage project in eastern Australia cannot go ahead because it would irreversibly damage the groundwater used by farmers, the government said on Friday, which would also block similar projects.

Global commodities giant Glencore said Queensland's decision was the result of misinformation and political opportunism, effectively banning carbon capture and storage projects in the state.

The company's pilot project aimed to inject 330,000 tonnes of liquefied carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power station in southern Queensland into an aquifer 2.3 km (1.4 mi) underground.

“The project cannot be implemented due to its potential impact on groundwater resources,” the state environment department said in a statement.

Farmer groups protested the risk of poisoning the Great Artesian Basin, a network of aquifers that stretches across much of eastern Australia and supports agriculture and communities.

The environment ministry said the proposed site is not a confined water body and carbon dioxide “could migrate, resulting in irreversible or long-term changes in groundwater quality and ecological values”.

These changes may include higher concentrations of contaminants such as chloride, sulfate, lead and arsenic, he said, adding that his results made it clear that other carbon storage projects in the Greater Artesian Basin may not be viable.

disappointment

Governments, including Australia, say carbon capture and storage (CCS) is essential to meet net neutrality targets and limit global warming. Its deployment is slow, but it is accelerating.

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Glencore, whose proposal is scientifically sound, is targeting an area where groundwater is untapped and of poor quality, and is unlikely to emit significant amounts of carbon dioxide.

“This decision is disappointing and follows a damaging campaign of misinformation and political opportunism,” the agency said in a statement.

“The Queensland Government has effectively banned carbon capture and storage projects in Queensland. “The Queensland Government must now explain how it will achieve its ambitious emissions reduction targets.

Glencore did not indicate whether it would appeal the decision.

The project would have captured 2% of the emissions from the Millmarron power station, but could save 90%, the company said.

Queensland farming association AgForce welcomed the decision, but said the basin needed more protection and that the federal government's Glencore-like plans should be closely watched.

Chevron has a CCS program in Australia

CVX.N Gorgon, on an island off the northwest coast. According to the Global CCS Institute, two more are under construction and 14 are under development. Most are intended for storage at sea.

The Glencore project is managed by a subsidiary called Carbon Transport and Storage Corporation (CTSco). Japanese companies Marubeni Corp 8002.T and J-POWER 9513.T have both committed $10 million to the project by 2022.