Informa Australia is part of the Informa Connect Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.

Energy & Utilities

Carbon capture hub at Middle Arm nearly ready for imports

18 Aug 2023, by Amy Sarcevic

Plans to develop a carbon capture hub at Middle Arm that will accommodate CO2 from both local industry and ASEAN imports are progressing well, according to Director Howard Smith, who says the project is set to be self-financed within the next decade.

Speaking to Informa ahead of NT Resources Week, Dr Smith said international government negotiations around CO2 imports had been a success, with the facility now receiving bipartisan support from Timor-Leste.

The facility, which has a projected shelf life of 300-750 years, will also help ASEAN nations address their emissions targets by disposing of some of their CO2; and providing a technological template for their own domestic projects.

“As we know, CO2 emissions are not constrained by borders, they are a worldwide problem. Even though we only planned a relatively small facility, we have identified world-class storage and can place ourselves in a position to help other countries address some of their emissions problems in the future, whilst continuing to fully address our own [in the NT].

“This will benefit countries such Singapore, Japan, Korea, or any others with difficulties in developing a domestic facility within the required timeframe, which is currently 2050,” Dr Smith said.

The negotiations meant overcoming a range of potential challenges, including different economic circumstances; and finding commonality on issues like legislation, technology and financing.

“We have dealt with a range of different backdrops, ideas and targets and are working to bring everyone together into a coherent whole. We have now earned full support from our overseas trading partners, who recognise the opportunity to build a world-class project that brings them into the global spotlight.”

LNG industry support, from Inpex and Santos, has been strong, and provides a bridge between federal funding and income.

“Our LNG industry partners are playing a lead role in development of the hub. They have provided most of the project finance and have been heavily involved in planning the hub, which is designed to capture as much CO2 as possible. Through their efforts it has been possible to secure agreement with Timor-Leste, Japan and Korea for import and export of CO2. As a government we are also considering how to help other governments, such as Singapore, manage their emissions.

“Although there has been no official mention of how the facility will run in the absence of funding, it is likely to be managed by a third party who would charge a toll on the disposal. We have been contacted by interested companies whose participation will help to recoup the large capital outlay by mirroring the way pipeliners charge a toll to transport gas around the country.”

Logistically, the project will rely first on the Bayu-Undan– a depleted gas field – as we develop a much larger field in the Petrel Sub-basin.

“The intent is to reverse flow on existing infrastructure at Bayu-Undan – i.e. the pipeline and the platform – and inject CO2 back into the depleted field. We believe that will work because the field itself has held gas for many thousands of years.

“Given that the Petrel Sub-basin is much larger, we will ultimately house most of the CO2 there. That field holds somewhere between 6 and 15 gigatonnes (600 – 1500 megatonnes) of CO2. And because the NT puts out less than 20 megatonnes per annum, we will have a field that can last 300-750 years at full production capacity from the NT.”

Talking more about the hub’s logistics and giving key project updates, Dr Smith will present at the Environmental Management & Decarbonisation Conference, as part of NT Resources Week, on 13-14 September.

This year’s event will be headlined by The Hon Madeleine King MP, Minister for Resources; Minister for Northern Australia, Federal Member for Brand; and The Hon Nicole Manison MLA, Deputy Chief Minister, Minister for Mining and Industry; Northern Australia and Trade; Advanced Manufacturing; Tourism and Hospitality; Parks and Rangers, Northern Territory Government of Australia.

Learn more and register.

Blog insights you may like

Get all the latest on Informa news and events

Informa Connect Australia is the nation's leading event organiser. Our events comprise of large scale exhibitions, industry conferences and highly specialised corporate training.

Find out more

Subscribe to Insights

Join Our Newsletter
Informa Insights

Stay up-to-date with all the latest
updates, upcoming events & more.