Australian and Japanese companies are exploring the potential of capturing carbon dioxide from industries in Asia and storing it off the coast of Australia, on the ocean floor. Australian company, Transborders Energy Pty is leading the ‘deepC store project’ along with its partners which include Tokyo Gas Co. and Kyushu Electric Power Co. The team is exploring the possibility of shipping emissions across the Asia-Pacific region using a floating hub to inject the material under the seabed. This technology was originally developed for small-scale floating LNG production. If the studies, engineering, and design work go as per schedule, the project could be up and running by 2027. It is estimated that the project, once developed, could potentially inject 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 a year into the sea bed
In 2020, around 40 million tonnes of CO2 was captured across 21 projects in the world. This is, however, only a fraction of the world’s total emissions of about 51 billion tons. The push for carbon capture technologies in Australia has come after the government named carbon capture and storage as one of the five technologies that would receive $13 billion in funding to reduce carbon emissions. Transborders Energy Pty has estimated the total cost of the project to be around $788 million. It also noted that this figure does not factor in the cost of establishing facilities to capture and liquefy CO2 for transport.
Carbon capture technology is being explored across the world. The Northern Lights Initiative, backed by the Norwegian government, Royal Dutch Shell Plc, Equinor ASA, and Total SE is planning to store 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 under the North sea by 2024. The projects could be scaled up to store 5 million tonnes of CO2. CarbonNet, in Australia, aims to store up to 5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide a year in the Bass Strait off the Southeast coast of Australia. The project is expected to be operational by 2030.