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Low emission coal initiatives announced.

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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

LOW EMISSION COAL INITIATIVES ANNOUNCED The Minister for Resources and Energy, the Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP, today announced the formation of a National Low Emissions Coal Council and a Carbon Storage Taskforce, backed by the Australian Government's $500 million commitment and more than $1 billion from industry and the states to drive the adoption of low emissions coal technologies.

Minister Ferguson said: "The National Low Emissions Coal Council will bring together key stakeholders from government, industry, and the coal research community to provide guidance and advice on the development and implementation of the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative.

"I am also pleased to announce that Dick Wells has agreed to Chair the Council. Mr Wells brings a wealth of experience in the resources industry, having previously held the position of Chief Executive with both the Minerals Council of Australia and the Australian Petroleum Production and Exploration Association. I will announce the full membership of the Council shortly.

"The Council will deliver a national approach to R&D and develop a national strategy aimed at accelerating the development and demonstration of low emission coal technologies.

"I am today also pleased to announce the National Carbon Mapping and Infrastructure Plan will be developed by a Carbon Storage Taskforce.

"The Taskforce will incorporate representatives from the coal, power generation, petroleum and pipeline sectors, expertise from Australia's geological community, and representatives from the workforce and ENGOs, with appointments to be announced shortly.

"The Taskforce will examine the work already underway in Australia and indicate priority issues going forward. It will make recommendations to the National Low Emissions Coal Council on a forward work program for geological mapping, infrastructure and storage locations.

"These initiatives are further evidence of the Government's commitment to reducing Australia's greenhouse gas emissions by 60 per cent on 2000 levels by 2050. The fact is that any emission reduction must include increasing the efficiency of our coal-fired power stations which currently

account for around 80 per cent of our electricity supply and 32 per cent of total emissions.

"The coal industry is our biggest exporter, expected to be worth $55 billion this financial year.

"The $500 million committed by the Australian Government to making coal use more sustainable will ensure our energy security and that of the region well into the future."

Media contact: Michael Bradley - 0420 371 744

RET Minister > The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

The Hon Martin Ferguson AM MP

28 Jul 2008



The National Low Emissions Coal Initiative (NLECI) aims to accelerate the use of low emission coal technologies in Australia, cut greenhouse gas emissions and secure the economic future of the Australian coal industry.

The NLECI will deliver a coordinated, national approach to clean coal technology research, development and demonstration to support the accelerated deployment of these technologies. The NLECI will also underpin Australia's international efforts to promote the deployment of low emission coal technologies and will complement Australia's emphasis on climate change policy, while ensuring the future of Australia’s coal industry as a key driver of Australia’s economic prosperity.

The Australian Government's $500 million National Low Emissions Coal Fund (NLECF) will provide financial support for the National Low Emissions Coal Initiative.

Specific commitments already announced are:

$75 million for a National Low Emissions Coal Research Program including $25 million to support low emission coal research by the CSIRO. The National Low Emissions Coal Council with the support of a team of experts from stakeholders will advise on research priorities, the development of a National Low Emissions Coal Research Program and means by which it may be implemented. CSIRO will have a major input into the development of the research program as a member of the Council and its representation on the team of experts. Research priorities are expected to include coal gasification, CO2 capture from coal combustion, clean power from lignite, geological storage and the integration of renewable energy with low emission coal technologies. This Australian Government funding will leverage contributions from other stakeholders to support a $200-300 million long term research program.

$50 million for a National Carbon Mapping and Infrastructure Plan. This funding together with financial and other support from stakeholders will be used to map and test storage sites; map and assess infrastructure to transport CO2 to these sites; and to link this with the implementation of the regulatory framework for carbon capture and storage. A Carbon Storage Taskforce will provide input into the development of this Plan. The Taskforce will draw on broader industry participation than the National Low Emissions Coal Council reflecting wider direct interests and expertise in geological storage, eg petroleum and pipeline sectors. It will also include representation from the workforce and non-government organisations. This Taskforce will run for 12 months but in line with the need to take early action, it is expected that most of its reporting will be completed in the first six months. The second six months will focus on the oversight of implementation arrangements. Implementation arrangements, particularly in relation to geological storage assessment, will draw on a coordinated approach between geological survey agencies from Commonwealth and State Governments.

$50 million for a pilot coal gasification plant in Queensland. This project involves the establishment of a research facility based on a small scale gasifier. It will be used to undertake research programs that will advance our knowledge and understanding of the application of CCS to coal gasification, support coal to liquids production and help realize the contribution that coal can make to the hydrogen economy. It will maintain and develop the expertise that will be needed to support demonstration projects and the take-up of commercial coal gasification in Australia and internationally. The facility will be jointly developed by the Australian and Queensland Governments and industry.

$50 million for a post combustion capture (PCC) demonstration project in NSW. This is a $50

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million contribution to a $150 million project being developed by the NSW Government and the Australian coal industry under COAL21. It involves the retrofit of post combustion capture technology to an existing power station to demonstrate the integrated capture and geological storage of at least 50,000 tpa of CO2. The project builds on pilot PCC trials by the CSIRO which the Australian Government is funding under the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, and work being done by the NSW Government to identify suitable storage sites and pipeline infrastructure requirements.

$50 million for a post combustion capture demonstration project in Victoria. This project will demonstrate the application of PCC technology to brown coal power stations. Generators in the Latrobe Valley are undertaking pilot trials of PCC and negotiations with the Victorian Government will commence shortly to define funding options for a large scale demonstration project.

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