The South West Hub Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project led by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS).
Led by the Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS), the South West Hub Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) project is a leading initiative to address greenhouse gas emissions in Western Australia by establishing the feasibility of storing industrially-generated carbon dioxide (CO2) deep underground in the Lesueur Sandstone formation.
CCS involves capturing CO2 emissions from industrial sources, transporting it to an injection site and pumping it deep below the surface for permanent storage - a process called geosequestration. CCS is part of an internationally recognised lowest-cost path in greenhouse gas mitigation.
Between 2011 and 2015, the South West Hub collected data and core samples through seismic surveys (Harvey and Waroona Shires) and stratigraphic wells (Harvey Shire) north-west of the Harvey town site. In this area the extensive Lesueur Sandstone formation, a highly saline aquifer, is nearer the surface than in areas south of Australind and north of Pinjarra and, importantly, the Yarragadee freshwater aquifer is not present.
Analysis of the data and samples, through four generations of computer modelling of the underground (2010-2018), reinforces the Lesueur’s suitability as a permanent storage reservoir for CO2 across a range of scenarios. This provides confidence in the success criteria for the South West Hub project which is 800,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) to be injected for a period of 30 years and to remain within the reservoir for at least 1000 years.
This confidence in the suitability of the Lesueur as a CO2 storage reservoir has increased as a result of the latest modelling by Odin Reservoir Consultants ‘Dynamic Model of the Harvey Area’ (2018), which shows that the Lesueur meets the success criteria, and that injected CO2 stops migrating through the formation after 500 years. The modelling will inform any future investment decision regarding CCS in the South West.
Because the success of the Lesueur as a CO2 reservoir depends on containment being assured through residual trapping and dissolution, without the presence of a traditional caprock, the South West Hub stands to be instrumental in widening the availability of sites suitable for CCS around the world.
The South West Hub is managed by (DMIRS) with funding from the Australian Government’s CCS Flagships program through the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS). The South West Hub has maintained open communications with the Harvey community, with individual landholders and with large industries based in the South West of Western Australia which may benefit from an opportunity to consider CCS as part of a carbon reduction strategies into the future.