Carbon capture study shows major opportunity for WA

Plans to make WA a world leader in the carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) industry have been given a handy boost with more than $4 million of State Government funding and proposed new legislation.

A study, commissioned and co-funded by the WA LNG Jobs Taskforce and undertaken by CSIRO and the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, reports WA is in a leading position to store much of the world’s carbon emissions and build CCUS hubs.  

CCUS involves capturing and storing carbon dioxide to reduce emissions from industrial-scale processes and projects. It is expected to play an important role in decarbonising hard-to-abate industries. 

The State Government has invested $4.3 million towards a CCUS action plan which aims to increase the development of CCUS technologies in WA, support new research and attract investment. 

This week, the State Government introduced the Petroleum Legislation Amendment Bill 2023 and the Petroleum and Geothermal Energy Safety Levies Amendment Bill 2023 into Parliament. It proposes to enable the transport and storage of greenhouse gases in WA, aligning with net zero emissions ambitions within the WA Climate Policy and Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policy.

“WA is a world leader in mining and natural gas, and that means we are perfectly placed to become a world leader in CCUS,” he says. 

“We can leverage our skilled workforce, existing infrastructure and unique geology to attract global CCUS investment – helping to create local jobs and strengthen our State’s economy.” 

The study identified that CCUS hubs would: 

  • Support cross-sector collaboration towards decarbonisation including the co-location of hydrogen and ammonia industries.   
  • Have the potential to attract significant overseas investment for the WA economy and potentially boost WA’s GDP by billions of dollars.   
  • Generate 37,000 construction jobs, along with 500 permanent jobs.   

Anthea Wesley, CCIWA Manager, Policy, says WA is yet to realise the size of the CCUS opportunity. 

“Carbon capture is not only critical for the decarbonisation of businesses and industries, but clearly there’s also a significant economic play in this area as well,” she says. 

“However, we need to ensure the right policy settings exist to make this happen. The State Government needs to ensure the legislation and associated regulations are implemented as soon as possible, but the Federal Government also needs to urgently address offshore approvals to ensure projects like these get up.”

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