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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe


    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning
    The Honourable Stirling Hinchliffe

    Friday, December 11, 2009


    Queensland is on track to become a world leader in clean coal technology following the declaration of the $4.2 billion ZeroGen project as a significant project.

    Minister for Infrastructure and Planning Stirling Hinchliffe said the Coordinator-General’s declaration meant the power plant would now undergo vigorous environmental assessment.

    Mr Hinchliffe said ZeroGen planned to build a power plant to convert black coal into a syngas to generate electricity while capturing carbon dioxide.

    “ZeroGen plans to build a power plant west of Gladstone that will convert black coal into a syngas to generate electricity, while storing the carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep underground reservoirs,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “ZeroGen could be one of the first companies in the world to build a commercial-scale power plant combined with CO2 capture and storage capability.

    “This use of low-emission technologies has the potential to secure an environmentally and economically viable future for Queensland’s vast coal resources.

    “The $4.2 billion project, currently at the pre-feasibility stage, plans to capture and store approximately 65 per cent, or 2 million tonnes per annum (Mtpa), of CO2 by-product during the commissioning phase, with the potential to rise to approximately 90 per cent once fully operational.’’

    Mr Hinchliffe said if approved, construction could begin in January 2012, with the commercial commissioning phase beginning in September 2015, and full commercial operations from 2020.

    He said it was expected the plant would generate 2000 construction jobs and 200 ongoing positions.

    “ZeroGen’s drilling exploration program is continuing in an area measuring nearly 30,000 km2 in the Northern Denison Trough, to find the best site for the plant and to safely and securely store large volumes of CO2,’’ Mr Hinchliffe said.

    “The final location will be determined by a range of engineering, environmental and logistical studies during this pre-feasibility stage.

    “Over the life of the project, approximately 60 million tonnes of CO2 is planned to be captured and stored.’’

    Minister for Mines and Energy Stephen Robertson said the Bligh Government was committed to protecting the environment from the impacts of climate change while securing a reliable low-cost energy supply and supporting the growth of Queensland’s coal industry.

    Mr Robertson said the significant project declaration followed the Commonwealth Government’s announcement that both ZeroGen and Wandoan low-emission power plant proposals had been shortlisted to share in $120 million of Commonwealth funding.

    “This funding from the Commonwealth’s $2 billion Carbon Capture and Storage Flagships Program will allow the ZeroGen power plant proposal west of Gladstone, and the Wandoan power plant proposal northwest of Brisbane, to make important contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” Mr Robertson said.

    “Integrating a coal gasification power plant with the capture and storage of CO2 emissions to generate low-emission electricity for the National Electricity Market will put Queensland in the driver’s seat when it comes to clean coal technology.

    “This fits in with the Queensland Government’s desire to move towards a low carbon future, as outlined in the ClimateQ: toward a greener Queensland strategy.’’

    ZeroGen is wholly owned by the Queensland Government, and its $100 million pre-feasibility study is being funded by the State Government, Australia’s black coal industry via the Australian Coal Association Low Emissions Technologies Pty Ltd, and Japan’s Mitsubishi Corporation and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

    Mitsubishi Heavy Industries will provide ZeroGen with the IGCC and CO2 capture technology.

    The ZeroGen proposal consists of:

    ·the construction of an IGCC power generation plant with carbon capture capabilities

    ·securing approximately 100 hectares of land for the power plant’s location

    ·securing infrastructure corridors for pipelines and power transmission lines

    ·the construction of underground pipelines for the transport of operational inputs that include water and potentially natural gas, and operational outputs that include captured CO2 to the geosequestration/storage field

    ·the construction of power transmission lines to connect to the National Electricity Market via the Queensland power grid

    ·securing a CO2 geosequestration storage field and the construction of injection wells and associated infrastructure on this storage field.

    The Coordinator-General said a significant project declaration was not an approval rather the start of a comprehensive Environmental Impact Statement.

    The EIS terms of reference will be circulated to key stakeholders and advertised for public comment in the near future.

    More information about IGCC and CCS, as well as ZeroGen’s initial advice statement, is available at:

    Media contact: 3227 8425