19 June 2024

Korean delegation explores carbon capture and storage opportunities in Australia

The delegation visited major CCS sites in Western Australia and met with government and industry.

Representatives from Korean industry and government visited Australia in June to explore trade and investment opportunities in carbon capture and storage (CCS).

Hosted by Austrade and the Korea-CCUS Association, the 11 industry and government organisations included the Korea National Oil Corporation, Korea Southern Power, Samsung, SK, Hyundai and the Korea Export and Import Bank.

According to the K-CCUS Association, Korea is one of the world’s leading emitters of greenhouse gases. With limited carbon storage capacity, Korea is exploring CCS options to meet its renewable energy and net zero by 2050 goals. Australia has ample onshore and offshore storage reservoirs that may be suitable for CCS projects.

Visits to major Australian CCS projects

The program kicked off with a visit to Chevron Australia’s Gorgon Project on Barrow Island, off the coast of Western Australia. The Gorgon Project is one of the world’s largest LNG projects and the largest single resource project in Australia’s history.

The Gorgon LNG facility includes the world’s largest CCS system. Naturally occurring CO2 is taken from offshore gas reservoirs. The gas is injected into a giant sandstone formation 2 kilometres beneath Barrow Island, where it is permanently trapped. Chevron Australia estimates that more than 9 million tonnes of CO2 have been injected between August 2019 and December 2023.

The Korean delegation also visited the Mid West Clean Energy Project (MWCEP) near Geraldton in Western Australia. The project aims to produce up to 1.2 million tonnes per annum of clean ammonia starting in 2027.

Pilot Energy, the Australian company behind the MWCEP, took the delegation to visit the Cliff Head Carbon Capture and Storage (CHCCS) project. The CHCCS project is the first stage of the MWCEP. It will be the first operational CCS facility located in Australian waters. 

The CHCCS project involves converting the depleted Cliff Head offshore oil field into a permanent CO2 storage facility. The facility aims to provide over 1 million tonnes per annum of permanent CCS starting in early 2026. This includes third-party industrial carbon dioxide emissions and 99% of any carbon dioxide generated by the MWCEP.

A group of men and women wear orange high visibility vests stand in front of a plant of steel pipes and framework used for carbon capture. Korean delegates visit Chevron Australia’s Gorgon Project site.


Exploring transnational opportunities and partnerships

During the visit, the delegation met with Australian government, R&D and industry stakeholders at 2 industry seminars. Australian government and industry representatives provided updates on CCS projects and policies. The attendees also discussed future R&D partnership opportunities s between Korea and Western Australia, and transnational CCS projects between Korea and Australia.

Australia’s support for CCS investment

Australia released its Future Gas Strategy in May 2024. The strategy details how gas will support the Australia’s transition to net zero in partnership with the world. It includes plans to grow carbon management and geological storage in Australia. It will also release more acreage for offshore CCS.

In its 2024–25 Budget, the Australian Government committed A$556.1 million over 10 years to map Australia’s resources and geological storage potential.

The Government will also work towards regional cooperation on carbon sequestration, to support the establishment of regulatory frameworks and bilateral agreements. This will provide regional partners with options for energy security and carbon management solutions.

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