Australian government backs Santos’ Moomba CCS project

The Australian government has awarded a grant to the Santos-led Moomba carbon capture and storage (CCS) project in South Australia.

Santos and its partner Beach Energy have received a A$15 million ($11.6 million) grant from the government’s carbon capture use and storage development fund, the LNG operator said in a statement on Tuesday.

The project would achieve the fund’s objectives by reducing emissions in the natural gas sector and establishing facilities, Santos said.

These facilities could, in the future, bring together a network of greenhouse gas emitters enabling reductions in costs and risks for CCS projects and large-scale abatement, the firm said.

Moreover, the A$210 million ($162.5 million) Moomba CCS project would permanently store 1.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year with capacity for up to 20 million tonnes annually across the Cooper Basin.

Santos chief executive Kevin Gallagher said the project would also be one of the lowest-cost projects in the world at A$25-30 per tonne, driving towards the Australian government’s stretch goal to compress, transport and store CO2 for less than A$20 per tonne.

“The Australian government’s focus on CCS technologies will put Australia at the forefront of the global energy transformation that is rapidly occurring,” Gallagher said.

According to Gallaher, the initial Moomba CCS project would support around 230 new South Australian jobs through construction and sustain thousands more over the project’s operational life.

“I am looking forward to taking a final investment decision on the Moomba CCS project in the second half of this year as we deliver on our commitment to decarbonise our existing business and grow our clean fuels capability on our road to net-zero emissions by 2040,” he said.

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