http://www.engineeringnews.co.za
  SEARCH
Login
R/€ = 17.96Change: -0.17
R/$ = 15.87Change: -0.03
Au 1234.15 $/ozChange: 41.10
Pt 943.00 $/ozChange: 10.50
 
 
Note: Search is limited to the most recent 250 articles. Set date range to access earlier articles.
Where? With... When?








Start
 
End
 
 
And must exclude these words...
Close Main Search
Close Main Login
My Profile News Alerts Newsletters Logout Close Main Profile
 
Agriculture   Automotive   Chemicals   Competition Policy   Construction   Defence   Economy   Electricity   Energy   Environment   ICT   Metals   Mining   Science and Technology   Services   Trade   Transport & Logistics   Water  
What's On Press Office Tenders Suppliers Directory Research Jobs Announcements Letters About Us
 
 
 
RSS Feed
Article   Comments   Other News   Research   Magazine  
 
 
Sep 28, 2012

Some carbon-capture roadmap movement, but still a long way to go

Back
Expertise|Africa|Building|CoAL|Exploration|Gas|Gorgon CO|Innovation|Oil-and-gas|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Resources|SECURITY|Solar|Storage|Technology|Testing|Africa|Australia|South Africa|United Kingdom|Geosciences Analytical Laboratory|Store CO|Appropriate Site|Energy|Oil|Oil And Gas|Oil And Gas Survey Data|Environmental|Brendan Beck|Marthinus Cloete|Saliem Fakir|Test Injection|South Africa|Geological CCS Technology
Expertise|Africa|Building|CoAL|Exploration|Gas|Innovation|Oil-and-gas|Power|PROJECT|Projects|Resources|SECURITY|Solar|Storage|Technology|Testing|Africa|||Energy|Oil And Gas||Environmental||||
expertise|africa-company|building|coal|exploration|gas|gorgon-co|innovation|oilandgas|power|project|projects|resources|security|solar|storage|technology|testing|africa|australia-country|south-africa|united-kingdom|geosciences-analytical-laboratory|store-co|appropriate-site|energy|oil|oil-and-gas|oil-and-gas-survey-data|environmental|brendan-beck|marthinus-cloete|saliem-fakir|test-injection|south-africa-region|geological-ccs-technology
© Reuse this



National policy developments and Cabinet endorsement of a geological carbon capture and storage (CCS) roadmap in South Africa can be viewed as major advances for CCS in the country. But scientists say that significant research and prospecting must still be completed before a compre- hensive assessment of the technology’s applicability to South Africa can be made.

“While there is significant theoretical potential for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage in the country, data supporting initial estimations provided by the Atlas on the Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide in South Africa study must be enhanced through the gathering of more data,” says South African Centre for CCS (SACCCS) manager Brendan Beck.

The

SACCCS is mandated to investigate the feasibility of CCS in South Africa. Part of this work involves the geological exploration needed to establish if there is suitable geology in South Africa to safely and permanently store CO2.

Council for Geosciences Analytical Laboratory and Regional Geochemistry Business Units manager Dr Marthinus Cloete notes that more research and prospecting must be done to verify and characterise the basins to determine their suitability as CO2 storage sites.

There is insufficient data available to perform modelling of the sedimentary basins. Earlier studies used oil and gas survey data and all conclude that effective storage capacity assessment cannot be completed unless additional data is acquired, he says.

“Different data acquisition methods are being considered. To conduct modelling of the basins, a large quantity of data is needed to determine what is happening underground and enable more accurate prediction of the behaviour of any CO2 injected. Questions such as whether the CO2 will remain stationary and whether it will migrate over time are the focuses of research and must be determined as part of the overall assessment for the safe storage of CO2,” Cloete notes.

Onshore Focus
The Atlas on Geological Storage of Carbon Dioxide in South Africa, which was released in 2010, determined that 98% of potential storage is offshore. But the current research focus for a possible test injection is on the 2% onshore portions of the Outeniqua basin, called the Algoa basin, and the onshore portion of the Zululand basin.

The focus on onshore portions of the two basins reduces the costs involved in research and testing and better enable the development of local specialist skills capacity. Having the project onshore will also enable the public and government to witness the project and learn about the use of CCS technologies, says Beck.

“Building on the work of the Atlas, the SACCCS is now planning further exploration of these basins. Exploration will involve establishing the geological suitability of the regions and will be supported by environmental assessments and engagement with all relevant stakeholders. If this exploration is successful and an appropriate site is identified, the SACCCS will then look to develop a CO2 Test Injection Project to further evaluate and build experience around the technology in a South African context,” he says.

“The CO2 Test Injection Project will enable South Africa to better understand the role of CCS in reducing CO2 emissions and meeting the challenges of climate change. The test injection project is the next milestone in the South African CCS roadmap, which was endorsed by the Cabinet of South Africa in May.”

Government Backing
The endorsement of the South African CCS roadmap by Cabinet provides the framework for advancing the CCS work programme. The Department of Energy has also formed an interdepartmental CCS task team to develop legislation and regulations, based on inter- national best practices.

Meanwhile, the geological history of both coastal basins indicates they are geologically stable. However, while knowledge of the geology of the Outeniqua basin is bolstered by previous oil and gas surveys to map the oil- and gasfields in the basin, the presence of which also indicates that the basin has the right geological conditions required to sequester CO2, relatively little prospecting has been done in the Zululand basin, explains Cloete.

“The onshore Zululand basin consists mainly of a single basin, and is a potentially large saline aquifer that can, theoretically, be used for CO2 sequestration. The Algoa basin comprises several relatively small sub-basins and each of these has several potential saline aquifers,” he says.

Beck adds that around 6.5-million tons of CO2 are stored each year globally for the purposes of mitigating climate change. “The first large-scale project started storing CO2 in 1996 with over 65-million tons of CO2 stored across five large-scale projects (about one million tons a year) and a significant number of smaller projects,” says Beck.

“Building on these projects, 2014 will see the Gorgon CO2 storage project come on line in Australia, which will store 4.4-million tons a year. To put this in context, a 1 GW con- ventional power plant produces around three-million tons of CO2 a year.”

South Africa is engaging in several inter- national CCS forums, with significant expertise derived directly from international projects, he says.

There is significant international collab- oration and support for CCS. For example, the UK government announced a £60- million fund to demonstrate CCS in developing countries. In addition, there is much interest in sharing expertise in these forums between projects and governments with experience in CCS. “For example, the South African Centre for CCS is actively collaborating with projects such as the Otway CCS test project in Australia,” says Beck.

Wrong Focus
But there are also many critics. “Geological CCS technology is still in its infancy as far as the use on coal-fired power stations is concerned and it has not been done on a scale that is sufficient to convince us that the technology cost reductions look feasible. Significant ramp-up globally is needed,” warns WWF-South Africa Living Planet Unit head Saliem Fakir.

“The most optimal storage sites are offshore. This would make the storage of the gas at these sites prohibitive because the distance from coal-fired power stations to the storage sites can be 600 km to 1 000 km. There is also the issue of whether it is technically feasible to store CO2 deep beneath the sea,” Fakir adds.

“The presence of suitable sites offshore means that, economically speaking, we do not really have suitable sites for geological CCS. This implies further reducing our dependence on coal or looking at cheaper CCS options,” he says.

Therefore, the organisation does not believe the focus on CCS is making the best use of limited resources.

“South Africa does not have the depth of resources to develop innovations like these from conception to commercialisation. We should rather spend these funds on renew- able-energy technologies. We are better off spending on the scaling and development of concentrated solar power,” he adds.

South Africa should shift its research towards adopting clean technologies that are mature. Research should be focused on optimising these technologies for local conditions, says Fakir.

Further, CCS could result in a public liability issue. If the industry does not have some sort of State guarantee or risk insurance in case of public liability, the financing of CCS storage facilities and CCS itself becomes less bankable, he says.

“Our strength is in adoption, optimising and innovation through entrepreneurship. These are important comparative advan- tages that have worked with other tech- nologies. Currently, some of the clean-energy technologies are costly and present technical barriers. We need to pick those we can spend as little resources on as possible but get the maximum of benefit,” avers Fakir.

However, the advocates believe South Africa, which produces more than 90% of its electricity from coal, has much to gain from pursuing the solution.

The main purpose of CCS is eventually to contribute to the mitigation of climate change through the secure storage of CO2, with important implications for South African food and trade security, concludes Cloete.

Edited by: Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor
© Reuse this

To subscribe email subscriptions@creamermedia.co.za or click here
To advertise email advertising@creamermedia.co.za or click here
 
Comment Guidelines (150 word limit)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Other Electricity News
Updated 6 hours ago Zambia's economy is expected to expand by 3.7% this year, largely stable from last year but could grow more than four% in 2017, the deputy finance minister said on Wednesday. An electricity shortage in Africa's no 2 copper producer has stunted the mining sector,...
Telecommunications provider Vumatel has temporarily halted digging activity in Blairgowrie to secure cable locators that will assist the contractors in pinpointing the exact location of power utility City Power’s electricity cables. The area had been experiencing...
Article contains comments
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) in the Free State is confident there will be no electricity cuts in the province, despite municipalities owing Eskom R842-million. This after Eskom said if Free State municipalities did not...
Article contains comments
Article contains comments
More
 
 
Latest News
DTBSA executive director Kobus van Zyl
Updated 44 minutes ago Daimler Trucks & Buses Southern Africa (DTBSA) announced on Thursday that it had expanded its area of responsibility from South Africa, Lesotho, Botswana, Namibia and Lesotho, to also include Malawi, Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Zambia, through the formation of the...
Updated 2 hours 24 minutes ago Following six years of negotiations between governments, the aviation industry and environmental group observers, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (Icao) has designed the world’s first carbon dioxide (CO2) efficiency standard for aircraft. The standard,...
Updated 2 hours 24 minutes ago JSE-listed ceramic tiles manufacturer Italtile has reported a systemwide turnover increase of 13% to R3.08-billion, while same-store revenue improved by 11% in its financial overview of the six months ended December 31, 2015. During the period, six new TopT stores...
More
 
 
Recent Research Reports
Construction 2016: A review of South Africa's construction industry (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Construction 2016 Report examines South Africa’s construction industry over the past 12 months. The report provides insight into the business environment; key participants; local demand; geographic diversification; corporate activity; black economic...
Energy Roundup – February 2016 (PDF Report)
The February 2016 roundup covers activities across South Africa for December 2015 and January 2016 and includes details of a Government Gazette notice that confirms Cabinet’s decision to move ahead with the 9 600 MW nuclear procurement programme; State-owned power...
Energy Roundup - December 2015 (PDF Report)
The December 2015 roundup includes details of State-owned utility Eskom’s application to claw back R22.8-billion; South Africa’s ranking as an investment destination for renewable energy; and a nuclear expert’s thoughts on reactor designs for South Africa’s nuclear...
Water 2015: A review of South Africa's water sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Water 2015 Report considers the aforementioned issues, not only in the South African context but also in the African and global context in terms of supply and demand, water stress and insecurity, and access to water and sanitation, besides others.
Input Sector Review: Pumps 2015 (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s 2015 Input Sector Review on Pumps provides an overview of South Africa’s pumps industry with particular focus on pump manufacture and supply, aftermarket services, marketing strategies, local and export demand, imports, sector support, investment...
Liquid Fuels 2015: A review of South Africa's liquid fuels sector (PDF Report)
Creamer Media’s Liquid Fuels 2015 Report examines these issues in the context of South Africa’s business environment; oil and gas exploration; fuel pricing; the development of the country’s biofuels industry; the logistics of transporting liquid fuels; and...
 
 
 
 
 
This Week's Magazine
Power and automation company ABB is in the launch phase of its highest payload, multipurpose industrial robot, the IRB 8700. The robot has a reach of 3.5 m and can handle a payload of up to 800 kg. “When designing the IRB 8700, we emphasised reach and payload, as...
Identity and Access Management (IAM) is a critical facet of a connected security ecosystem, as controlling the confidentiality, integrity and authorisation of data access and use is key to securing new digital business channels. However, companies face several...
RORY YOUNG Managed security services provide companies with a means to actively monitor their environment and ward against threats
Data underpins digital business models, the digital economy, the Internet of Things and the fundamental changes in the ways people interact and protecting data is crucial to securing new ways of doing business, says T-Systems South Africa information and...
The City of Cape Town will issue a tender for the procurement of electric buses for its MyCiTi service, in line with the council’s commitment to lower its carbon footprint, says executive mayor Patricia de Lille. The tender, to be advertised early in February, will...
The iSimangaliso Wetland Park Authority signed a R10-million contract last month with local tailings storage facility specialists Cyclone Engineering Projects to remove about 100 000 m3 of dredge spoil obstructing the natural course of the uMfolozi river, in...
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Alert Close
Embed Code Close
content
Research Reports Close
Research Reports are a product of the
Research Channel Africa. Reports can be bought individually or you can gain full access to all reports as part of a Research Channel Africa subscription.
Find Out More Buy Report
 
 
Close
Engineering News
Completely Re-Engineered
Experience it now. Click here
*website to launch in a few weeks
Subscribe Now for $149 Close
Subscribe Now for $149