08/06/2021 - 15:42

Carbon plan approved for Pluto

08/06/2021 - 15:42


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A new carbon target for Woodside’s Pluto LNG has been approved; Chevron has invested in solar; and six carbon capture projects have been granted $50 million.

Carbon plan approved for Pluto
The first LNG train at Pluto on the Burrup Peninsula. Photo: Woodside

A new carbon target for Woodside’s Pluto LNG has been approved; Chevron has invested in solar; and six carbon capture projects have been granted $50 million.

Emissions at the Pluto LNG facility will be cut 30 per cent by 2030, Woodside said today, after the state’s environment minister approved a modified Greenhouse Gas Abatement Plan.

For 2050, the facility will target net zero emissions.

A second LNG train is to be built at Pluto to process gas from the planned Scarborough project off the Pilbara coast, a development that will cost about $14 billion.

Woodside was criticised last week by the Conservation Council of WA and Australia Institute in a report that claimed the project would emit about 1.5 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide over its lifetime.

That figure is more than 90 per cent comprised of end use of the gas.

The approval of the target today shows the company has aspirations to cut emissions.

The new plan will mean emissions are about 1.2 million tonnes a year lower in 2030 than initially expected when two trains were first approved.

“We are pleased to have agreed these new contemporary greenhouse gas emission reduction targets with the state for Pluto LNG,” Woodside chief executive Meg O’Neill said.

“The targets, which are based on the proposed expansion of the facility to enable the processing of gas from the offshore Scarborough field, demonstrate how we have applied our corporate decarbonisation targets at Pluto LNG. 

“These efforts are complemented by our investment in generating high-quality offsets and potential opportunities in renewable power and hydrogen.”

It comes after the company announced it would be assessing a potential 100-megawatt solar farm on the Burrup Peninsula to power Pluto and a proposed nearby fertiliser plant.

"The enhanced greenhouse gas abatement program brings the Pluto LNG development's emissions reduction targets in line with the McGowan government's greenhouse gas emissions policy for major projects,” Environment Minister Amber-Jade Sanderson said.

"I have asked the (Environmental Protection Authority) to inquire into updating the ministerial statement under which the project operates to ensure these new targets are enforceable and subject to transparent reporting measures."


Overnight, Chevron’s venture capital arm announced it had invested in a capital raising for Melbourne-based RayGen Resources.

The cash will come out of a $US300 million future energy fund, with about $42 million contributed in the Series C raising for the company.

Raygen is developing solar thermal generation and storage technology.

AGL is studying use of the technology at its soon-closing Lidell coal plant in northern NSW.

“This investment is a first in Australia for Chevron Technology Ventures, showcasing RayGen’s merging of solar power generation with long-duration energy storage and underscoring our approach to partnering with innovative developers on a lower carbon future,” Chevron Australia managing director Mark Hatfield said.

Carbon capture

The federal government has promised $50 million to six projects through its Carbon Capture, Use and Storage (CCUS) Development Fund.

The winners included Santos, for its Moomba gas plant; Mineral Carbonation International in New South Wales; Carbon Transport and Storage Company in Queensland; Corporate Carbon Advisory, also for Moomba; and Boral in NSW.

Energy Developments was granted $9 million for carbon capture at landfill sites across the country.

Energy and Emissions Reduction Minister Angus Taylor said the government had received applications to fund projects to the value of $1.2 billion.

“The projects we have supported through this program include a number of exciting, Australian-first technology demonstrations,” he said.

“Analysis by the International Energy Agency shows that half the global reductions required to achieve net zero will come from technologies that are not yet ready for commercial deployment.

“That’s why we’re partnering with industry to accelerate new projects and unlock the emissions and economic benefits of carbon capture technology.

“The IEA and IPCC both regard carbon capture technologies as essential to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

“Australia already has the world’s largest carbon capture facility of its kind, and this is one of five priority areas for future investment under the government’s Technology Investment Roadmap.”


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