Exxon Mobil plans Australian carbon capture hub

Exxon Mobil has begun design studies for a carbon capture storage (CCS) hub in southeast Australia, similar to a project in Houston, Texas, to reduce emissions from industries in the Gippsland Basin.

The CCS hub would use existing infrastructure to store carbon dioxide in the depleted Bream field off the coast of Gippsland in the state of Victoria, the US energy multinational said.

CCS traps emissions and buries them underground but is not at the commercialisation stage yet.

Exxon said it is in discussions with local emissions-intensive industries which may be interested in availing the hub to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their operations.

“Collaboration with other industries is an important step to unlock future carbon capture and storage opportunities for Australia, with the potential for large-scale reductions in the highest emitting industrial sectors,” ExxonMobil Low Carbon Solutions president Joe Blommaert said.

The largest US oil producer is also planning on a hydrogen production plant and a CCS project at its Baytown refinery near Houston, Texas, in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

The carbon capture infrastructure for the Australian project would have the capacity to store up to two million metric tons of carbon dioxide per year and could be operational by 2025 if technical and business feasibility is confirmed, Exxon said.

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