Australian duo advance carbon capture and storage project



Australian independent Pilot Energy is teaming up with CO2 capture solution provided KC8 Capture Technologies to collaborate on a carbon capture and storage service solution targeting key emitters in the region adjacent to the Cliff Head CCS project in Western Australia.

The aim is to target Mid West industrial emitters in the state, thereby expanding the potential customer base for the nearby Cliff Head CCS project.

This project involves the conversion of the operating Cliff Head offshore oilfield to enable permanent carbon dioxide storage and low-carbon hydrogen and ammonia production.

Pilot and KC8 Capture Technologies Limited, have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate — a deal that Cliff Head operator Pilot said complements its arrangements with other carbon capture technologies.

The companies will initially target the decarbonisation of approximately 1 million tonnes per annum of CO2 emissions associated with existing and proposed Mid West WA projects.

KC8’s technology, which has been developed over 15 years, is a solvent-based carbon capture process targeting the capture of up to 95% of CO2 emissions in post-combustion flue gases.

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Cliff Head CCS involves the conversion of the operating Cliff Head offshore oilfield into a permanent CO2 storage operation capable of storing more than 1 million tpa of CO2 on a continuous basis through to 2050, with over 50 million tonnes of potential total storage capacity.

Pilot’s Cliff Head storage project is an integral component of its Mid West Clean Energy Project.

The MWCEP aims to produce more than 1.2 million tpa of low cost, clean ammonia for export with approximately 99% carbon capture through fully integrated carbon capture and storage utilising the Cliff Head CCS Project.

Commercialising technologies

KC8 is commercialising what the companies said would become one of the lowest cost post combustion CO2 capture technologies to reach commercial qualification in the next few years.

The contractor is currently developing two commercial demonstration plants, one in the US with the Department of Energy and one in Queensland, Australia, with the support of Cement Australia.

The Queensland project — dubbed PACER — has completed engineering work and is now moving into the fabrication stage. This unit will be completed in early 2024 and installed at Cement Australia’s Gladstone cement manufacturing plant. Designed to demonstrate the commercial scalability of the technology, the plant will capture up to 15 tonnes per day of CO2 directly from the clinker kiln flue stack.

Once commissioned the package is expected to operate throughout 2024 to confirm the long-term operating characteristics.

“Pilot is thrilled to be working with KC8 and to be backing a carbon technology developed here in Australia. The KC8 team has been focused on the development and deployment of CCS here in Australia since its inception and has an excellent understanding not only of the technologies needed but also the operational considerations that major Australian industrial emitters have about integrating new technologies and carbon solutions into their existing operations,” said Brad Lingo, Pilot’s chairman.

“This is a great opportunity for two Australian companies to demonstrate the cost effective capture and sequestration of CO2 from hard-to-abate industries in WA. We look forward to successfully progressing this agreement through to a full commercial demonstration supporting the Cliff Head CCS project,” said Greg Ross, KC8 executive director.

Pilot earlier this year tied up with Canadian carbon capture company Svante Technologies to provide CCS solutions for industrial customers in Australia. These two companies intend to develop full-service CCS solutions for customers, starting with about 8 million tpa of carbon dioxide from Western Australia’s Kwinana Industrial Area.