PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Environmental group Greenpeace Australia Pacific has slammed Prime Minister Scott Morrison's announcement of a A$40-million investment into energy major Woodside’s Burrup Hub gas project.
As part of a A$250-million investment in carbon capture and storage (CCS), on his election trail, Morrison announced that up to A$40-million of government funds would be spent in support of the design and construction of the multi-user Burrup CCS hub and carbon dioxide (CO2) gathering and transportation network.
Up to A$20-million will be spent to support the design and construction of Mitsui E&P’s Mid West CCS hub, and up to A$7-million will be used to support Buru Energy to assess the potential for onshore storage in the Carnarvon basin.
“The Burrup and Mid West hubs are expected to reduce emissions by a combined 7.4-million tonnes per annum from 2028. The projects are expected to drive more than A$1-billion of investment in regional Western Australia and will create more than 2 000 jobs,” Morrison said.
However, Greenpeace Australia Pacific head of clean transitions Jess Panegyres said that the government was effectively granting Woodside an expensive, tax-payer funded licence to pollute.
“The government is essentially giving Woodside a licence to pollute, handing taxpayer’s money to a company with billions of dollars of revenue to waste on ineffective, unproven and costly carbon capture technology,” she said.
“Carbon capture has never worked anywhere in the world at scale, with the most salient example of its failure being found right here in Western Australia. Chevron’s colossal Gorgon gas plant, Australia's only commercial-scale CCS project, has comprehensively failed, and now the government wants to hand over more public money to waste on this dangerous fantasy technology.”
Chevron last year conceded that it had failed to capture sufficient greenhouse gas emissions at its Gorgon oil and gas project, and was working with the Western Australian regulator to make-up the shortfall.
Under the terms of the project’s approval, the Gorgon liquefied natural gas operation is meant to capture four-million tonnes a year of CO2, or 80% of the carbon extracted from its reservoir gas.
Since August 2019, the project had only injected five-million tonnes of greenhouse gas.
“Woodside’s Burrup Hub, if it goes ahead, is set to be the most climate-polluting project in Australia. Tacking a useless carbon capture facility to the Burrup Hub is applying the world’s smallest fig leaf to this fossil fuel monstrosity, leaving Woodside free to destroy our climate,” said Panegyres.
“With renewable solutions like wind, solar and batteries offering boundless opportunities for Western Australia, the federal government should be investing in long-term energy and employment solutions for our state, rather than funding technology designed to prolong the life of polluting fossil fuel projects.”