carbon capture demonstration project leads the way

The carbon processing unit for liquefying carbon dioxide at the Callide Oxyfuel Project at Callide A Power Station near Biloela, in central Queensland

The $245 million Callide Oxyfuel Project in Central Queensland – a demonstration and development of low emission coal-fired electricity generation – has passed more than 6000 hours of operation.

The project has been operating in oxy-firing mode at the Callide A Power Station since December 2012, making it one of the most advanced carbon capture projects in the world.

Project director Dr Chris Spero said the Callide Oxyfuel Project aimed to prove the suitability of oxyfuel technology for both new build and existing coal-fired power stations.

“The Callide Oxyfuel Project and other oxyfuel projects underway around the world are essential to the development of the technology and its future application at a commercial scale,” he said.

“We’ve been collaborating with R&D organisations and participants in other projects to carry out a number of tests at Callide A to help us optimise the technology and share knowledge. This will help progress the commercialisation and deployment of oxyfuel combustion with carbon capture.”

Oxy-firing involves burning coal in a mixture of oxygen and re-circulated exhaust gases, instead of air and results in a concentrated stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) which is suitable for capture and storage.

The current demonstration phase follows the retrofit of Callide A with oxyfuel technology between 2009 and 2011 and the construction of a CO2 capture plant on the site.

The Callide Oxyfuel Project is also advancing the understanding of CO2 transport and storage options through its contributions to a number of feasibility studies and investigations. It’s a joint venture between CS Energy, ACA Low Emissions Technologies (ACALET), Glencore, Schlumberger Carbon Services and Japanese participants J-Power, Mitsui and Co., and IHI Corporation.

The project was awarded $63 million from the Australian government under the Low Emissions Technology Demonstration Fund and has also received financial support from the Japanese and Queensland governments and technical support from JCOAL.