Cleaner coal

Australian and Japanese companies have joined forces to construct what will be Australia’s first power station using clean coal technology.


Australian and Japanese companies have joined forces to construct what will be Australia’s first demonstration power station using clean coal technology.


Construction of the $206m Callide Oxyfuel project at Biloela in Central Queensland will begin early next year with the 30MW power station scheduled to start producing electricity by the end of 2010.


The project is a collaborative effort funded by the Australian Federal Government, the Queensland government-owned CS Energy, the Australian Coal Association’s COAL21 Fund, Xstrata Coal, Schlumberger, the Japanese government and Japanese participants, JPower, Mitsui, and IHI Corporation.


It will see the retrofitting of a coal-fired boiler at Callide A power station with oxy-firing technology which will burn coal in a mixture of oxygen and re-circulated flue gases.


This will create a highly concentrated stream of carbon dioxide (CO2) suitable for capture and storage deep underground in geological formations west of the power station using a process known as carbon capture and storage or geosequestration.


The oxyfuel combustion process, first conceived in Japan in 1974, has been tested in small-scale projects in Japan, the US the UK and Europe. The Callide project will take the technology to a larger scale in order to demonstrate that it can be applied to existing and new coal-fired power stations to achieve very significant reductions (up to 90 per cent of CO2) in emissions.