Jabiru, Northern Territory

The Northern Territory Government has taken a step towards developing carbon capture and storage, working with industry to plan a common-user hub at Middle Arm.

The State Government said the hub will see emissions from current and future natural gas processing operations support the creation of new low emissions industries that use carbon dioxide and clean hydrogen as feedstocks.

Northern Territory Chief Minister, Natasha Fyles, said, “The Territory is rapidly emerging as a key player when it comes to the global supply chains, and new technologies needed for energy transition.

“We have always said the core component of the Middle Arm development is sustainability and will include renewable energy. We are creating new jobs for Territorians in existing and emerging sectors, including low-emissions energy, advanced manufacturing, and low-emissions minerals processing.

“The creation of a carbon capture and storage industry in the Territory will allow us to develop more projects as we work towards clean, green energy.”

A new report by Australia’s national science agency, CSIRO, highlights the opportunity for carbon dioxide (CO²) utilisation to support low-emission manufacturing in the Northern Territory, as part of the Northern Territory Low Emission Hub business case.

According to the report, the Northern Territory could turn waste carbon dioxide into commodity products by integrating CO² utilisation technologies into local hub developments.

CSIRO Oil and Gas Researcher, Dr Andrew Ross, said, “The potential near and long-term role of carbon capture and utilisation within a Northern Territory Low Emission Hub is an important input to understanding the interaction between different industries in the context of a low emissions industrial ecosystem.”

CO² utilisation is the process of using CO² captured from industrial emissions or directly from the atmosphere to manufacture products. 

The Opportunities for CO² Utilisation in the Northern Territory report explores five CO² utilisation opportunities that can enable low-emission manufacturing and generate value for the Northern Territory’s economy. The report builds on CSIRO’s CO² Utilisation Roadmap, published in 2021.

 Northern Territory Minister for Mining and Industry, Nicole Manison, said, “The State Government is working with CSIRO, INPEX, Santos and other big industry players to establish a carbon capture and storage common-user hub at Middle Arm.

“We are making sure we are creating an industry which will be able to provide crucial energy security to Australia and the region, into the future.

“Carbon capture and storage is vital to achieving net zero emissions, which is why the Northern Territory Government has also commissioned the Carbon Capture and Storage Hub Study, undertaken by the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute, in addition to this report.”

The Northern Territory’s existing liquefied natural gas industry, export links with the Asia-Pacific region and high renewable electricity potential mean it is well positioned to create valuable CO²-derived products and support industry’s decarbonisation efforts.

The report explores opportunities to manufacture methanol, jet fuel, urea, methane and mineral carbonates in the Northern Territory using captured CO².

The development of a hub with shared carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS) and hydrogen production infrastructure can support the deployment and scale-up of CO² utilisation opportunities.

A large scale CO² storage hub will enable development of low emissions industries, advanced manufacturing industries, and potential for a significant emissions management hub in the wider region, including south-east Asia.

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