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CO2 Storage Project Achieves 10,000-Tonne Mark

Media Release

4 July 2008
CO2 Storage Project Achieves 10,000-Tonne Mark

The first carbon dioxide storage project in the Southern Hemisphere has succeeded in storing its first 10,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in a depleted natural gas reservoir 2km underground in Victoria, Australia.

New Zealand’s Solid Energy is a major investor and founding member of the company set up to own and operate the CO2CRC Otway Project. The $40 million project’s aim is to inject 100,000 tonnes of CO2 and to demonstrate, through extensive monitoring, that carbon storage (geosequestration) is technically and environmentally feasible and ready for widespread commercial application.

“Every indication is that the carbon dioxide is behaving just as researchers have predicted,” the CO2CRC Chief Executive, Dr Peter Cook, says. “The injection process is proceeding very well and we are now starting on our next 10,000 tonnes.

“Through our monitoring programme, researchers track the behaviour of the carbon dioxide in the storage reservoir using very sophisticated geophysical and geochemical techniques. Soil, groundwater and atmospheric monitoring complement the subsurface activities. The use of such a wide variety of monitoring techniques gives us a high level of confidence that the compressed liquid carbon dioxide is stored safely and securely,” Dr Cook says.

The project has been developed over the last 10 years by the Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Greenhouse Gas Technologies (CO2CRC) – www.co2crc.com.au. It was officially opened on 2 April 2008.

Solid Energy is contributing more than A$2 million towards the research of the Centre, which is in turn part of a 20-year, NZ$100 million investment the company is making in renewables and new cleaner ways of using coal. Solid Energy is founding shareholder, with several Australian coal, oil and gas companies, in the company set up to own and operate the Otway project and has had a significant role in the technical, legal and commercial aspects of that company.

ends

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