Carbon capture research project for Loy Yang

A post combustion C02 capture research project will use gases drawn from the Loy Yang power station.

The two-year research program to improve efficiency of carbon dioxide capture is a partnership of the CSIRO, AGL Energy, Brown Coal Innovation Australia and Japan’s IHI Corporation.

The PICA research plant is 21 metres high and was built in Japan to be transported to the Latrobe Valley, where it is anticipated to capture 150 to 200 tonnes of carbon each year.

AGL group operations general manager Doug Jackson said AGL had committed to decarbonisation by 2050 and technology would be critical to transition to a lower carbon emissions energy sector.

“The new age of power generation will require a range of innovative technologies,” Mr Jackson said.

Brown Coal Innovation Australia chief executive Phil Gurney said the project was a major step forward and would contribute to the broader roll-out of carbon capture and storage for power generation and the manufacturing sector in the longer term.

“BCIA has invested heavily in research and development to improve the efficiency of brown coal power generation and reduce the costs of carbon capture technologies,” Dr Gurney said.

Environment Victoria chief executive Mark Wakeham said Victorian taxpayers were again funding carbon capture research with puny environmental outcomes.

Mr Wakeham said taxpayers were forking out $650,000 for the trial, which would reduce emissions by up to 200 tonnes of CO2 for two years. He said this equated to $1625 per tonne.

“AGL could reduce emissions at Loy Yang A more than this expensive trial will in a year by powering down for just six minutes,” Mr Wakeham said.

“We’ll know that generators like AGL are serious about reducing emissions when they start phasing out excess generation and develop a transition plan for the Latrobe Valley and when they start spending their own money on carbon capture trials instead of somebody else’s money.”