American oil and gas producer ExxonMobil [XOM:US] launched design studies for its carbon capture storage (CCS) hub in southeast Australia, as reported by Reuters on April 14. The US company plans to use the hub for storing carbon dioxide (CO2) generated by the industries in the Gippsland Basin, one of Australia’s most prolific hydrocarbon areas. ExxonMobil is in talks with local emission-intensive industries seeking to reduce their carbon emissions through the CCS hub. The project is expected to come into operation by 2025 and store up to 2m tons of CO2 per year.
Before the launch of the CCS hub in southeast Australia, Exxon Mobil disclosed a plan in March to construct a similar CCS plant and a hydrogen production factory in the US state of Texas. With a total investment of USD100bn, the Texas plant will be capable of transporting and storing up to 10m tons of CO2 per year. These projects are part of ExxonMobil’s efforts to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in its operation by 2050 while increasing its profitability. Last June, the Australian government proposed the inclusion of CCS projects in its national carbon market. Meanwhile, the country also awarded six CCS companies a total of AUD50m (USD38.7m) from its Carbon Capture, Use, and Storage (CCUS) Development Fund. In addition to the fund, Australia will invest more than AUD250m (USD184.1m) over the next decade to scale up the development of CCUS projects and support corresponding research.