3.4 Project analysis process

The following basic criterion was used to determine whether an activity captured in the database should be considered for analysis.

The activity is intended to produce advancement in components, systems and processes which will support the commercialisation of integrated CCS solutions in either power or industrial applications with emissions greater than 25,000 metric tons per year of CO2.

Any activity that was only intended to be an academic study has been excluded from the analysis and is considered to be research only.

3.4.1 CCS project type

The following project types have been used.

  • Capture only
  • Capture ready
  • Capture and transport
  • Transport only
  • Transport and storage
  • Storage only
  • Integrated (capture, transport and storage)

3.4.2 CCS project scale

Based on the G8-IEA-CSLF (2007) third workshop on “Near-Term Opportunities for Carbon Capture and Storage”, it was determined that industrial (large) scale equated to more than 1 million tonnes of CO2 stored per annum.

The review also showed that various stakeholders have used different metrics to determine the definition of large-scale CCS projects. Terms such as “industrial scale”, “large scale” and “commercial scale” are used interchangeably, often without a common basis of understanding. For this study, the term “commercial scale” is applied to describe the minimum level of CCS application required for the current industrial markets to adopt the technologies in commercial enterprises. For example, this would be the minimum size of CCS required if the current commercial power generation market were to adopt CCS. This is discussed in more detail below.

The following project scale categories, listed from smallest to largest, have been used.

  • Bench
  • Pilot
  • Demonstration
  • Commercial scale

A project specific set of metrics were developed to classify the projects which are across numerous technologies and industries into these four categories.

There are two aspects to this metric:

  • the demonstration of CO2 storage; and
  • the development of CCS technologies to prove technical and commercial viability.

These are discussed further below.

The demonstration of CO2 storage

The metric for commercial scale CO2 storage used in this study was based upon the G8-IEA-CSLF volumetric rate of greater than 1 Mtpa, as discussed above. This was applied to integrated, storage only and transport and storage project types as these involve the storage of CO2. The smaller scale categories were based on percentages of the commercial scale as presented in Table 3-1.

The development of CCS technologies to prove technical and commercial viability

Where a project does not involve storage of CO2, the approach adopted in this study is to categorise the scale of a project according to the product capacity of the facility. This is consistent with how facilities are already characterised when considering scale and this assists in categorising and grouping projects of similar scales. For example, the electric power industry will scale on the net electrical output and the aluminium smelting industry on the quantity (in tonnes) of aluminium produced per day.

Given that a number of existing CCS technologies are still at some stage of development, it is necessary to demonstrate, prove and optimise these technologies at their minimum scale necessary for that stage of development. Due to the relative immaturity of integrating the three key elements of CCS, demonstrating the integration of capture, transport and storage can only occur initially at a scale in line with the least developed component.

In the case of power generation, 90 percent of commercially operating power plants in the USA fall within the range of 80 megawatt electrical (MWe) to 950 MWe. Therefore, for the power sector 80 MWe is used in this study as the minimum capacity for commercial scale in the absence of any storage component for the project. This is also the minimum commercial scale for the application of CCS to biomass fired power plants, as identified by EPRI in Foundation Report Four.

Once the technologies are proven to work for CCS applications, and performance guarantees are set under integrated CCS systems, the actual deployment of the technology is likely to occur on a larger scale than 80 MWe. For example, the commercial market for the power generation sector is currently constructing non CCS power plants greater than 600 MW for coal fired IGCC and pulverised fuel power plants and 250 MW for natural gas power plants.

A similar approach of benchmarking has been applied to the other large emitting industries.

Capture only, capture ready and capture and transport projects that are not in any way integrated with storage of CO2 applied within these various industries have been categorised on the basis of these minimum commercial scales.

Table 3-1 Definition of project scale for CCS

Percent of minimum commercial scale Project scale category Comments
100% ” scale Commercial Full commercial use of product
10% ” scale ≤ 100% Demonstration Limited commercial use of product, or intermittent sale of product
5% ” scale ≤ 10% Pilot No commercial use of product Operates on actual flue gases The smallest size of plant that works as an integrated unit
Scale ≤ 5% Bench No commercial use of product Operates on simulated flue gas Demonstrates only elements of a commercial design

3.4.3 The WorleyParsons asset lifecycle model

The asset lifecycle model is used to categorise the status of a project according to its development stage. This model is a framework to assist decision-makers and articulates a staged approach with a series of “go/nogo” decision gates. The asset lifecycle model is shown in Figure 3-1.

Figure 3-1 The asset lifecycle model

The quantum of costs incurred to reduce technical and commercial uncertainty increases as the project progresses through the asset lifecycle. As a general guide, between 10-15 percent of a project’s total installed cost could be spent to achieve completion of the Define stage.


percent of a project’s total installed cost could be spent to achieve completion of the Define stage

One proponent, ZeroGen Pty Ltd that is developing a commercial scale, IGCC project with CCS demonstration has estimated that the total installed capital cost of it’s project to be in the order of $US3 billion to $US3.2 billion (C Greig 2009, pers. comm. 4 September). Using the general estimate of 10 to 15 percent described above, the cost of advancing this project from the “Identify” phase to the end of the “Define” phase is in the order of $US300 million to $US480 million. This figure includes environmental studies to secure regulatory approvals and engineering studies for the power plant, as well as pipeline and field development costs for finding and appraising the storage site. This illustrates the significant level of investment required to deliver a CCS project. These investments are essential to ensure that decisions be based on robust and accurate information prior to sanctioning the commitment of even greater investments to projects.


projects were identified