South Africa seeks studies for pilot CCS project
South Africa's Council for Geoscience has invited quotes for geological surveys for the country's first carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) project, according to a tender announcement on August 18.
While aspiring to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, South Africa's government has said it expects the country to remain largely dependent on oil, gas and coal for years to come, to capitalise on its remaining domestic reserves. In the tender document, the council described as "critical ... to support South Africa's programme to combat climate change and mitigate CO2 emissions." The project will store some CO2 underground, while also supplying some to downstream industries that can use it as feedstock in production.
"South Africa has significant hydrocarbon resources, which not only forms a primary contributor to South Africa's bulk energy supply, but also contributes immensely to the socioeconomic development of the country," the council said. "The successful implementation of the CCUS programme in South Africa will therefore form a key aspect of a just transition. Enabling a shift toward a low-carbon economy, while not resulting in a significant impact on the socioeconomy.
The CCUS project will be based in the Mpumalanga province, home to a number of coal-fired power stations as well as four fifths of South Africa's coal production. Its cost is projected at $38mn, most of which will be covered by a grant from the World Bank. It is expected to store somewhere between 10,000 and 50,000 metric tons/year of CO2 underground, with injections due to start in late 2023.