G20 International Seminar on CCUS, Bengaluru

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By Tim Dixon

6 February 2023

India has the presidency of the G20 this year, and has moved quickly to hold energy-related meetings to work towards new agreements and initiatives to be agreed by G20 leaders later in the year. On behalf of India, the Ministry of Power and NTPC organised a seminar on CCUS, held as a parallel event to the G20 Energy Transitions Working Group on Sunday 5 February in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore). The event was attended by around 150 in-person and a few hundred online.

The objectives of the seminar were to highlight the importance of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) in the context of the challenges of the clean energy transition and the role of CCUS in addressing these challenges, examining various technological aspects of the value chain, from capture through to storage and utilization pathways. The event also aimed to show approaches to sustainable strategic planning, rapid upscaling, and large-scale roll-out of commercial technology while keeping this in line with National priorities. This event aimed to enable sharing of knowledge from successful initiatives that can be replicated across emerging economies and to develop greater international collaboration across technology cooperation.

The event was opened by Mr U. K Bhattacharya, Director Projects, NTPC, India, who stated the need to capture CO2 from coal power and to produce useful products.

Mr Gurdeep Singh, Chairmen and Managing Director of NTPC, continued on the need for CCUS for dispatchable low-carbon power. Power production causes 40% of India’s emissions.He wants NTPC to focus on “technology gaps” in CCUS value chain, and plans to upscale green methanol production.

Mr Alok Kumar, Secretary of the Ministry of Power, called for action on both climate change and energy security, and described the roles of CCUS beyond power, on industry sources also. He observed that whilst utilisation is important, it is not large-enough scale for the CO2 emissions that need to be mitigated, and while storage is needed at Gt scale but is not well established yet.

Dr. V.K. Saraswat, NITI Aayog, Goverment of India, was the most senior VIP attending from the Indian government. He presented on the role of CCS globally, for the G20 who account for 75% of the worlds GHG emissions, and for India. He drew from the recent report by Dastur Energy for NITI Aayog, titled CCUS Policy Framework and Deployment Mechanism in India. I can recommend this report, very well researched, up-to-date and encouraging for India [the report is available at https://www.niti.gov.in/sites/default/files/2022-11/CCUS-Report.pdf]. This report includes an assessment of the theoretical storage potential for India of 400-600Gt from work by BGS and IIT Bombay [this is double the estimate previously from the IEAGHG report 2008-02 by BGS because it now includes basalt storage theoretical estimates]. For reference, the annual emissions of CO2 from India are around 2.5Gt.

I presented on the theme of international cooperation for CCUS, covering recent outcomes for CCUS from COP26 and COP27 and with Paris Agreement Article 6, reminding them that the hard work on regulatory frameworks and carbon accounting for CCS has already been done, by the UNFCCC for CCS in the Clean Development Mechanism and by IPCC in their GHG Inventory Guidelines.

Dr. Nicholas Musyoka – CSIR, South Africa presented on the status of CCS in South Africa, including utilization for methanol production and the hydrogen roadmap.

Ms. Yukimi Shimura, Director at MUFG Bank (Japan) gave a private sector bank’s perspective on the financing challenges with CCUS projects. She covered what the banks need from CCUS projects in terms of de-risking so as to make the projects bankable, also the role of public-private-partnerships, and examples of CCUS projects they were involved in.

Shri Atanu Mukerjee CEO, Dastur Energy, presented a summary of a new report from Dastur Energy for NTPC on CCUS technology gaps which could be addressed by international cooperation. This highlighted the mature technology aspects across the CCUS value chain and the areas where international cooperation on technology improvements would assist scaling CCUS deployment. He particularly recommended work on the technologies for Direct Air Capture and Calcium Looping. He included a list of the CCUS projects and initiatives within India, with some 15 activities across power, chemicals, oil and gas, cement, and steel sectors.

Prof. Amit Garg of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, presented on the macroeconomic benefits of CCUS in the energy transition context, including for avoiding stranded assets and for employment. He included suggestions for financial instruments which would assist the scale-up of CCUS in G20 countries.

The seminar concluded with a discussion panel moderated by Juho Lipponen, coordinator of the CEM-CCUS Initiative. The panel consisted of Dr. V.K. Saraswat, Mr Alok Kumar, Mr Gurdeep Singh, myself, Dr. Nicholas Musyoka, Ms. Yukimi Shimura, and Mr Win Van Gerven, Vice President, ArcelorMittal India. The panel considered the question of what message would they like the G20 Energy Transition Working Group to include in their communique from the Indian G20 presidency. The responses from the panelists included: data sharing from operational projects; acting now to develop large CCUS projects in the G20; for G20 countries to state where and how CCUS is in their national plans; for G20 donor countries to ADB and World Bank CCS Trust Funds to renew these funds which are coming to an end and which have enabled excellent work in developing countries such as the establishment of CCS Centres of Excellence; the establishment of CCS Centres of Excellence in more countries so as to act as national experts in assessing CCS nationally, in advising their governments, and acting as conduits for international knowledge sharing from international CCS organisations such as IEAGHG, Global CCS Institute, CEM-CCUS and others, and as conduits for information from those implementing CCS, for example the International CCS Knowledge Centre in Canada.

A summary of the seminar and a vote of thanks was provided by Prof. Vikram Vishal of IIT Bombay.

Overall, this was a most interesting event because of the recent work and reports from India, showing their serious intentions to progress CCUS activities in their country. Many thanks to the Ministry of Power and NTPC for hosting and organising.

The event was recorded and is available at https://youtube.com/live/ptVEVA_fTa0?feature=share .

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