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GHGT-14 Plenary Session 23rd October 2018

The second day of the GHGT-14 Conference in Melbourne opened with an up-beat plenary session from three prominent figures directly engaged in Carbon Capture, Utilization and Storage (CCUS). All three are influential in CCUS technological advances their respective portfolios. Steve Winberg, Assistance Secretary for Fossil Fuel in the US Department of Energy, opened proceedings. Steve, with nearly 40 years' experience, outlined current US policy and the relevance of CCUS. He emphasized the contribution to US domestic energy security and the 25% fall in CO2 emissions since 2005 in the power sector and 14% overall CO2 reduction in the same time period. Significant achievements have been achieved at flagship projects including the Air Products capture plant at the Valero oil refinery in Port Arthur, Texas. Two other examples were also mentioned: the Petra Nova site, linked to a CO2-EOR operation, also in Texas; and the ADM ethanol plant in Decatur, Illinois that injects into a saline aquifer. Steve observed that the current capture costs of $80 -100 tonne need to hit $30 a tonne. The introduction of the 45Q tax credit initiative is stimulating genuine interest in industrial investment that will help to achieve this goal. Other initiatives include the EDX energy data exchange and support for newer, smaller (50-350 MW) coal plant adapted for load-following generation better suited to integration with the rapidly expanding renewables intermittent power generation.


A Japanese perspective, was then presented by Hirofumi Aizawa, who is director of the Climate Change Projects Office of the Global Environmental Bureau with the Ministry of the Environment. Japan faces considerable challenges with a population density in excess of 100 times that of Australia and ten times that of the USA, with no indigenous oil production, or onshore storage and considerable natural seismicity. Nevertheless the country's policy is to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050. The Mikawa Power Plant post combustion capture plant, developed by Toshiba, forms part of the technology demonstration instigated by Japan. This power plant is one of the first to run on biofuels. Hirofumi then explained that there is a significant drive to identify offshore storage sites with 2D and 3D seismic surveys. He also emphasised Japan's very considerable desire for international collaboration in the field of CCS and other climate change progammes.


The final contributor to this plenary was Bill Brown of Net Power and responsible for the innovative Allam Cycle capture technology. Bill highlighted how the technology could lead to very significant reductions in capture costs leading to commercially attractive costs for the onward sale of CO2, N2 and Ar as by products. The integration of CCS with H2 derived from hydrocarbons has the potential to achieve a quantum shift in CO2 emissions reduction and cost.


This very positive outlook, by three key players, was enthusiastically endorsed by delegates and neatly summarised by IEAGHG's technical manager Tim Dixon. 

GHGT-14. Opening Plenary
Panel Discussion 2: Unlocking CCUS Investment