Australian carbon capture and use flagship technology awarded $14.6 million Federal Government grant
Newcastle, 8 June 2021
The Minister for Energy and Emissions Reduction Angus Taylor has today awarded Australian cleantech developer Mineral Carbonation International (MCi) one of the largest individual grants from its inaugural Carbon Capture Use and Storage (CCUS) Fund. The $14.6 million grant for the project titled ‘Australian CCU Flagship: Demonstrating decarbonisation for heavy industry’ will accelerate MCi’s technology that transforms CO2 emissions into valuable advanced manufacturing and consumer products.
Proceeds from the grant will go toward construction of a world-first mineral carbonation mobile demonstration plant in Newcastle, Australia. The ‘MCi Carbon Plant’ will be built on Orica’s Kooragang Island site within two years, and have direct access to approximately 250 thousand tonnes of captured CO2 from Orica’s manufacturing operations. The scale of the demonstration plant will be determined once the final pilot studies and engineering designs are completed this year, however it is expected MCi Carbon Plants could scale up to several million tonnes of CO2 conversion and removal in any suitable industrial site.
“This CCUS Grant will fast-track MCi’s plans to help the hard-to-abate industries towards the transition to net-zero. The steel, cement, aluminium, mining and chemical industries need technologies that help with the transition. This is a key focus not only in Australia but also in the world-wide race to zero emissions.” said MCi CEO Marcus Dawe.
MCi uses carbon engineering processes to transform captured carbon dioxide emissions from most industrial sources, into solid materials known as ‘carbonates’ that can be used to manufacture a range of building and construction products including building materials, chemicals, cements, concretes and consumer products. Turning carbon emissions into value this way is known as Carbon Capture and Utilisation, or CCU. Transforming CO2 emissions and industrial wastes into valuable products presents a key opportunity for the circular economy to enable emissions reductions.
MCi CEO Marcus Dawe said: “by creating products from CO2 that are more valuable than the cost to build and operate carbon plants, the benefits are substantial. In the future, MCi Carbon Plants will create high quality permanent carbon credits, create a financial return for funders and lower the carbon footprint from the products that use the carbonates replacing existing high carbon-intensity materials like cement, limestone, gypsum and many other mined and processed bulk materials.”
CSIRO is expected to publish a CO2 Utilisation Roadmap in July 2021 which will be the first significant independent analysis conducted on the CCU field. Mineral carbonation is likely to be showcased as an attractive abatement solution.
MCI’s grant award is one of six grants announced today under the $50M Federal Government’s Carbon Capture Use and Storage Development Fund.
“In the near future there will be vast volumes of captured carbon dioxide that need to be used or stored. There are many technologies that are being developed and scaled to meet this US$6 trillion global emerging carbon product market and all will need to be assessed if we are to meet Paris Agreement targets. The awarding of six projects under the $50M CCUS Grant is a great signal that Australia can play a leading role in the emerging carbon capture utilization field” Mr Dawe said.