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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier of Queensland
    The Honourable Peter Beattie


    Premier of Queensland
    The Honourable Peter Beattie

    Wednesday, July 26, 2006


    Shell Development (Australia) Pty Ltd has signed an agreement to provide specialist expertise for the next stage of Stanwell Corporation’s project to build the world’s first power plant incorporating two clean-coal technologies, Premier Peter Beattie announced today (Wednesday).

    “This is a major step forward in the Smart State’s commitment to developing clean coal technology to dramatically lower carbon dioxide emissions in the fight against climate change,” said Mr Beattie.

    “The agreement with Shell, a world leader in underground carbon dioxide storage technology, provides a major boost to the project which aims to build a demonstration generation plant producing baseload electricity through integrating coal gasification and the capture and safe storage of carbon dioxide.

    “This is a major coup for the Smart State, for the coal industry and for the environment
    which will give Zerogen access to the full range of Shell’s intellectual property in this area.

    “In June 2005 I held talks with Shell in New York which resulted in Shell working alongside Stanwell’s experts on what proved to be a successful feasibility study.

    “Now Shell has signed an agreement to provide its cutting-edge, highly-specialised advice and technical support services to ZeroGen, a Stanwell subsidiary, in a test drilling program which started last month.

    “This drilling program is to determine the geological suitability of rock formations in the Springsure-Emerald area for carbon dioxide sequestration – the safe and secure storage of carbon dioxide from the power plant in deep salt water aquifers.

    “ZeroGen would be the first power generation project in the world to combine this sequestration with coal-based gasification, making it an initiative of national and international importance.

    “Coal gasification is the cleanest method for converting coal’s energy potential into electricity. 

    “Stanwell is a Queensland Government-owned corporation with a diverse range of generating assets including coal-fired thermal, wind and hydro-electricity generation facilities in Queensland and other states.

    “It’s largest asset is based at Stanwell Energy Park, near Rockhampton, where it is proposed to build the power plant.

    “If the drilling results are as expected, construction is due to start in the second quarter of 2008, with completion due in 2010.

    “The proposed demonstration facility will produce up to 100 megawatts of electricity and has the capacity to capture and store up to 420,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year.

    “The carbon dioxide would then be taken by pipe 220 kilometres to the saline aquifers deep underground near Emerald for safe storage.

    “There would be between 500 and 700 construction jobs and 50 to 100 permanent jobs.

    “As part of the agreement, Shell will be offered up to a 10% equity position in the project.

    “I can also announce today that the Co-ordinator-General has declared Zerogen a significant project which triggers the development of a comprehensive environmental impact statement process for the project.

    “This will ensure we explore all of the potential environmental, cultural, social and economic impacts associated with the project, including an extensive consultation program with a wide variety of people and organisations.

    “In addition to enabling Queensland to use its massive reserves of coal to produce hundreds of years of safe, reliable and environmentally-responsible electricity, the success of this project would open enormous export opportunities for the technology.

    “Because of this, the Queensland Government has earmarked $300 million from the Queensland Future Growth Fund to develop clean coal technology.

    “The Smart State is leading the international community in the research and development of these clean coal technologies and I am delighted that Shell has chosen to work closely with Stanwell to tackle the issue of climate change head on.”

    Contact: 3224 4500