What is Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage?
Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) is a process by which carbon dioxide emissions from industrial processes are captured before they enter the atmosphere. They can then be transported for storage (usually deep underground) or to be put to further industrial use (like the creation of concrete products).
Why is CCUS so important?
CCUS allows industrial processes that are crucial to global everyday life – such as gas production, electricity generation and steelmaking – to continue while controlling their emissions profile. In a region like Asia, which has more than half the world’s people and ever-growing energy demand, CCUS will be an absolutely integral tool in balancing the provision of secure and affordable energy with transitioning away from coal-fired power to meet climate targets.
Natural gas can be a low-carbon replacement for coal in electricity generation and a vital transition fuel for Asia over decades to come but its production and use comes with an emissions profile that will need to be managed. CCUS can be a major aspect of this.
What can CCUS achieve?
According to research undertaken by the International Energy Agency, there are currently 35 commercial carbon capture facilities in the world with a total annual capture capacity of almost 45 Mt CO2. Ambitions have been announced for more than 200 new capture facilities to be operating by 2030, capturing more than 220 Mt CO2 per year – although only a small percentage of those have reached Final Investment Decision.
There have been estimates that CCUS could eventually capture 90 per cent of emissions from power plants and industrial facilities.
We’ve just released a brand new database on carbon capture, utilisation & storage projects around the world! ?
Our CCUS Projects Database can serve as a tool for governments & companies aiming to accelerate the deployment of these key technologies → https://t.co/l8IZbVtXiY pic.twitter.com/qKm6fh8eCM
— International Energy Agency (@IEA) March 24, 2023
How are countries approaching CCUS?
The US has been a long-time leader in the field of CCUS, with early facilities that date all the way back to the 1970s. Close to two thirds of the world’s global capture capacity is located in the US and the Gulf Coast is a hotbed of activity in this area.
CCUS is now increasingly at the forefront of thinking in Asia. China has included the technology in its emissions mitigation strategies for the past decade and is planning rapid CCUS expansion. Meanwhile, Japan’s net zero emissions planning is underpinned by carbon capture and the country’s Ministry for Economy, Trade and Industry has initiated the Asia Capture Capture, Storage, and Utilisation (CCUS) Network.
Singapore has plans to realise at least 2 million tonnes of carbon capture annually by 2030, while Thailand hopes to have operational CCUS by 2026. Korea has also announced major State investment in CCUS technology and Indonesia published regulations early in 2023 to establish a framework for CCUS activities.
CCUS is already being used on a relatively small scale in India but significant expansion is expected. And carbon capture has been identified as potentially transformative technology as the Philippines grows its decarbonisation agenda.
Carbon capture in practice
Shute Creek, USA
Operational since 1986, the CCUS facility at ExxonMobil’s plant in Shute Creek – processing gas from the LaBarge field – is capable of capturing 7 million tonnes of CO2 per year – which is then piped to other oilfields in Wyoming for use in enhanced oil recovery operations. The facility was significantly expanded in 2010 and is estimated to have had the same emissions impact as taking 1.5 million cars off the road.
Gorgon Gas Project, Australia
The only operating CCUS project in Australia and one of the largest in the world, the Gorgon process involves CO2 being separated from natural gas extracted from offshore reservoirs, and then injected into a giant sandstone formation two kilometres under Barrow Island, where it remains permanently trapped. Operated by Chevron, Gorgon is the biggest resource project in Australia’s history and produces important LNG for Asian markets.
China’s biggest CCUS project went into operation in August 2022, with carbon dioxide captured from a hydrogen plant being injected into oil wells in the Shengli oilfield. Some 10.68 million tonnes of CO2 is expected to be injected over 15 years, driving oil out in the process – and thereby also boosting oil production.
What needs to happen to advance CCUS in Asia?
Although there is still much technical advancement and refinement to come, CCUS is in many ways a proven technology – the first large-scale project to inject CO2 into the ground launched in Texas in 1972.
But the technical aspect is only one part of the CCUS equation. Much work is required across the whole of Asia to create clear regulatory and legal frameworks to reduce above-ground risk that might otherwise be a barrier to deployment. This includes policy enabling transportation of CO2 across international borders.
The success of CCUS in Asia won’t come down to the work of one country or one industry. It will require considerable collaboration between nations, industries and companies, including the establishment of CCUS value chains that involve multiple jurisdictions.
There is considerable scope for Asian jurisdictions to quickly build on and apply lessons learned from existing CCUS regimes in Europe, North America and Australia, ensuring they are well-placed to attract investment.
What is ANGEA’s role with CCUS?
ANGEA’s membership comprises some of the most significant gas and energy companies through the global supply chain. Through their considerable expertise, strong investment in research and development and collaboration with a wide range of stakeholders, our member companies are at the forefront of global efforts to design and implement the most efficient and cost-effective CCUS solutions.
Examples include ExxonMobil’s work with Nippon steel on potential on potential carbon capture implementation for Japanese steel mills and the Baytown blue hydrogen project it is progressing in Texas, which could eventually produce a billion cubic feet of hydrogen per day.
JERA has signed a memorandum of understanding on the use of hydrogen and ammonia with Thailand’s Electricity Generating Plc (EGCO) that includes a CCUS component and is also planning to collaborate with Yara Clean Ammonia on a blue ammonia production facility on the Gulf Coast of the US.
Late last year Chevron announced a major investment in specialist carbon capture company Svante and committed to a joint study agreement with Mitsui OSK Lines into the feasibility of transporting liquified carbon dioxide from Singapore to permanent storage locations offshore Australia. Chevron is also collaborating with Pertamina to explore carbon capture opportunities in Indonesia.
ANGEA is an industry association representing LNG and natural gas producers, energy buyers, suppliers and companies in APAC. Based in Singapore, it works in partnership with governments and societies across the region to deliver reliable and secure energy solutions that achieve national economic, energy security, social and environmental objectives and meet global climate goals.