CO2 Infrastructure Project

The Federal Government has a stated commitment to addressing climate change through carbon reduction programs and policies. Determining the most effective and efficient methods of CO2 reduction is a matter of ongoing investigation and policy development. In response to this, the Department of Resources, Energy and Tourism have commissioned the Energy Division of Geoscience Australia to undertake a project to create a national, online CO2 pipeline corridor and infrastructure assessment application.

The assessment of an optimal route between major emitters and storage sites, and ensuring that corridors for pipelines were reserved or otherwise not alienated, was identified as an important task by the Carbon Storage Taskforce (CST). Further, project scoping identified the need for a national assessment to be undertaken to prepare for major transportation of CO2 (to storage sites or to ports for shipping) by 2030. If large-scale commercial roll-out of carbon capture and storage (CCS) projects is to occur by 2030 then the federal government would like this to be done in the most efficient way. As such, capability to model various options using best available data and economic modelling, in a timely way to support decisions by government and industry on roll-out will be critical. It is also possible that the process will require a 'first cut' assessment with indicative costing as a basis for comparison with other CO2 reduction options at a 'point in time'. This may include modelling of a number of national networks or 'backbones' based on different key assumptions as a basis for understanding possible indicative costs of this method of CO2 reduction, including providing a comparison with other policy options.

The core technical challenge is to provide the capability for improved discovering and disseminating of digital data relating to potential CO2 pipeline corridors at a national scale, with the data held and managed by numerous separate agencies across different levels of government. This supports the core business challenge which is to provide the capability, workflows and what-if analysis to support any future successful negotiation and implementation of a CCS solution of national and strategic importance. 

The project aims to meet the following business objectives:

  • Support the key recommendation of 2009 CST to coordinate national and local planning to provide options for strategic pipeline corridors for potential future use for long distance backbone CO2 pipelines
  • provide a National CO2 Transport and Storage Infrastructure assessment capability for use by government planners/modellers and regulators to help identify and examine potential CO2 pipeline routes or corridors having regard to the location of CO2 sources and storage sites, other resources and infrastructure corridor users, and factors such as terrain, urban centres, national parks and other land uses and factors which may influence the location, design and/or cost of transport routes
  • support dissemination of CO2 infrastructure assessment related data and information to Commonwealth, State and Territory governments, research institutes and industry
  • support Geoscience Australia 2012-2015 Strategic Plan, Cleaner and Low Emissions Energy Technology strategy, and associated National CO2 Infrastructure
  • support transport and storage infrastructure development planning that is designed to incorporate economies of scale, competitive long term costs and uncompromising standards.
  • provide centralised access to data through a single system when examining national planning needs for CO2 pipeline corridors for potential future use
  • establish a fundamental data delivery environment that is international standards compliant and which assembles and catalogues the best available set of data (including metadata and web services to gather data), focussing particularly on those indicators which have the strongest bearing on CO2 infrastructure assessment
  • to contribute to long-term policy development regarding the most efficient and effective methods of CO2 reduction.

The project is expected to be completed by June 2015.