Japan, Australia to cooperate on driving carbon capture technology

September 07, 2011

Australia’s government-backed Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute announced on Monday that it will open an office in Tokyo in order to cooperate more closely with Japan on research into clean coal technology

The collaboration is focused on Japan’s research into converting brown coal into cleaner burning synthetic gas and Australia’s massive coal reserves and potential CO2 storage sites in Bass Strait.

Several of Japan’s industrial giants are working on methods to extract CO2 from brown coal in the hope they can sell the technology to the vast number of coal-fired plants scheduled to come on stream in India and China.

Resources and Energy Minister Martin Ferguson said Japan was home to more than 24 of the institute’s members and was a logical destination for its first Asian office.

“Continued growth in the Asia-Pacific region is driving demand for more energy, and while renewable sources are increasing their share of the energy mix, the use of fossil fuels will continue for some time to come,” he said in Tokyo.

The institute, which aims to promote information sharing and research, has provided funding for a Japanese study into transporting CO2 via ship and has funded CarbonNet to build a business case for a storage hub for CO2.