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    Media Statements

    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh


    Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Sunday, December 19, 2010


    A clean coal power station in central Queensland will not proceed at this time as part of the ZeroGen project.

    The ZeroGen project is a joint State-Commonwealth Government and industry led research project into carbon capture technology for coal fired power production.

    Premier Anna Bligh today confirmed that the State Government has decided not to pursue at this time the proposal to fund an Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle power station incorporating carbon capture and storage.

    “To date $192 million has been invested in this research including $102 million from the Queensland Government and $90 million from the coal industry and the commonwealth and this research has focused on developing a clean coal power station.

    “We are not about to walk away from Carbon Capture and Storage technology but we will be changing the focus of our efforts.

    “We embarked on this research program because Queensland is one of the world’s major coal producing regions.

    “It is in the best interests and prosperity of future generations that we develop this clean coal technology and the research we have carried out to date has made us world leaders in this field.

    “We had hoped to have a clean coal power station up and running by 2015 but the fact is that the early research has shown us that this is not viable at this time on a commercial scale.

    “The Queensland government will work with the coal industry over the next three years to prioritise suitable storage in Queensland that would support the construction of an integrated power plant with CCS.

    “Expert advice recommends undertaking further carbon storage site identification in other parts of the State which could become viable in the future,” she said.

    “This is where an independent, industry-led ZeroGen will now direct its attention.

    “Identifying storage locations is the critical first step in the process towards the development of Carbon Capture and Storage capacity in Queensland.”

    The Premier said that the Queensland Government, together with other funders, remains fully committed to identifying suitable storage and developing power station CO2 capture technologies including Callide Oxyfuel and the Tarong Post Combustion pilot project.

    “Earlier this month the Minister for Mines and Energy opened the Tarong Post Combustion Capture Project – a pilot plant designed to capture 1,000 tonnes per annum of CO2 from the power station,” she said.

    “And the Callide Oxyfuel project has the potential to capture around 25,000 tonnes of CO2 per annum eventually capturing up to 10% of the entire Unit’s CO2 production.

    “By identifying future areas that are geologically suited to future projects we can ensure that other viable integrated capture and storage projects can be created in the future.”

    Under the restructure the state government proposes that ZeroGen will be transitioned into an independent entity, owned and run by industry and dedicated to the accelerated development and deployment of CCS.

    “Expenditure by ZeroGen to date has yielded a wealth of information about capture technology, power station construction and carbon storage,” said the Premier.

    Ms Bligh said $50 million of Government money, leveraging a further $100 million from industry and the Commonwealth, will remain in the Clean Coal Fund to assist companies like ZeroGen compete for funding for the development of CCS in Queensland.

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