|Above: Boundary Dam Power Station. Source: SaskPower Media Centre.|
|2014 – A year of advances in brown coal|
|BCIA Chief Executive Officer, Dr Phil Gurney|
|It’s hard to believe that the end of the year is nearly upon us. If you are like me, this year has flown past – and time always seems to run even faster at this time of year, with so much to complete before the holidays.|
|This has been a very eventful year for brown coal globally. The most significant story of the year has to be SaskPower bringing on-line the Boundary Dam Integrated Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) Project – the world’s first full-chain system integrating carbon capture at a coal-fired power station. |
Hot on the heels of this, construction continues at pace at Southern Company’s Kemper County Energy facility, with plans to capture up to three million tonnes per annum of CO2 starting from 2016.
Both the Boundary Dam and Kemper County power plants are fuelled by brown coal. The integration of CCS at both facilities conclusively demonstrates the capacity of this low-cost fuel to provide low-emissions power.
BCIA is a member of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI), which track the progress of CCS globally – the Institute provides an update on the Boundary Dam and Southern Company projects and other low-emissions options for brown coal on Page 4.
Closer to home, in Victoria Australia, three major new coal upgrading projects are progressing under the banner of the Advanced Lignite Demonstration Program (ALDP); and the CarbonNet project continues its work in identifying storage sites. CarbonNet is Victoria’s major CCS program focussed on industrial scale storage of CO2.
On the R&D side of CCS, the CO2CRC, of which BCIA is a member, continues its research program monitoring and testing CO2 injection and storage at its Otway site, while the CO2CRC’s spin-out company, UNO Technologies, continues to commercialise the UNO capture technology.
To assist in the development of such activities, BCIA recently held a stakeholder forum in the Latrobe Valley to discuss the opportunities for R&D to accelerate the wide range of planned pilot and demonstration projects that will be operating in Victoria in the next few years – the outcomes from the forum are reported on Page 5.
| Projects under BCIA’s 2014 funding round are now well under way. The Direct Injection Carbon Engine (DICE) program has completed a risk-review and this has identified pathways, opportunities and challenges for demonstration and commercialisation of the technology. The DICE project is targeting a significant reduction in both emissions and capital costs by utilising coal-water fuels for power generation from stationary, low-emissions diesel engines. |
The CSIRO/IHI/AGL project that will build and operate a new carbon capture R&D plant in Victoria is at the design review stage, while BCIA’s oxy-fuel and chemical looping projects – being undertaken by Monash University and partners – are progressing well.
In this issue of Perspectives you will also find information on research BCIA is supporting to simplify pathways for DME production. DME is a non-toxic, non-greenhouse fuel, and the project shows that it can be produced through catalytic coal gasification.
You will also read about research on the agricultural uses of brown coal, the skills development activities BCIA is undertaking, and we also spotlight Australia’s newest university, Federation University, which has recently joined BCIA as a member.
Finally, I would like to offer my congratulations to Kirstyn Krausz, BCIA’s Membership Support Manager, who will be taking 12 months maternity leave from the end of this year. Most of you will know Kirstyn, and I’m sure you will join with me in wishing her all the best with baby number two, and welcoming Shae Ford, who will be joining BCIA to cover Kirstyn’s maternity leave. Shae can be contacted on email@example.com or phone +61 3 9653 9601.
As always, I trust that you will enjoy this issue of Perspectives. If this year has also been a busy one for you, I wish you a restful break to come – and to those of you in the Southern Hemisphere, I hope you enjoy the summer weather.