Carbon capture and storage study to take place off Vic coast

The Victorian Government is backing a new scientific carbon capture and storage (CSS) study offshore from the Ninety Mile Beach in Gippsland.

The joint state and federally funded study is being conducted by CarbonNet to advance the science of CCS at a commercial scale.

CCS involves permanently storing carbon dioxide deep underground.

Independent scientists have assessed Gippsland’s Bass Strait waters to have some of the most suitable rock formations to store carbon dioxide.

A marine survey vessel will be deploying 4km-long seismic sensors that it will tow through the water.

The study will record reflected sound waves that pass through the rock layers below the seabed.

The data will be used to validate highly detailed, three-dimensional subsea geological models.

State Minister for Resources Tim Pallas said Victoria is at the “cutting edge” of global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“The CarbonNet project holds the promise to be a catalyst for new global investment, industry and jobs in Gippsland and the Latrobe Valley, while helping us combat climate change,” he said.

The study is expected to run for 17 days, subject to local weather conditions, and weekend beachgoers at Golden Beach will be unaffected.

A long-running demonstration of CCS has been underway by a Victorian-based research centre, the CO2CRC, which has stored 80,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide in the rock layers below the Otways since 2008.

The Gippsland study aims to do the same on a commercial scale, offshore in Bass Strait.