Victoria's Latrobe Valley (the Valley) – which is situated within the Gippsland region – contains the second largest deposit of brown coal (lignite) in the world. Currently, as a result of accessibility to this brown coal resource, 90 per cent of Victoria's electricity is generated from ageing and emissions-intensive coal-fired power stations.
Brown coal has growing industrial processing and mining potential because of its abundance and low cost extraction. However, solutions must be found to reconcile its high moisture content with afuture.
Carbon capture technologies have the potential to provide a sustainable and long term solution for dealing with emissions arising from the use of this brown coal and other fossil fuel resources.
The offshore Gippsland Basin is located adjacent to Victoria's brown coal reserve and carbon-emitting power stations and is ideally suited for geological carbon storage. The Gippsland Basin is considered to contain the highest quality and largest capacity 1 Research to date shows that the geology deep below the sea bed in the Gippsland Basin is well suited to long term CO2 storage within rock formations. These geological formations have stored oil and gas securely for millions of years. Research also indicates future storage potential for over 20 gigatonnes (gt) of CO2 in structural and stratigraphic sites2: this represents hundreds of years of storage for Latrobe Valley's CO2 output.3out of 25 major basins across Australia.