Introducing the Carbon Abatement Hub: Australia’s First Multi-User Waste Gas Collection Facility
The Carbon Abatement Hub (CAH) Project is set to make history in Australia as the country’s first multi-user waste gas collection and processing facility. Located approximately 40km north of Moranbah, the facility will utilize the vast amounts of gas emitted during the coal extraction process in the Northern Bowen Basin (NBB).
Coals found in the NBB area typically contain high volumes of gas that are released into the atmosphere through direct methane release from open pit coal mines and flaring and venting of gas pre-drained from underground coal mines ahead of coal extraction. The CAH Project aims to capture and beneficially use this large gas resource, thereby reducing significant quantities of carbon emissions and promoting industrial growth in North Queensland.
Once operational, the CAH Project will establish the critical infrastructure necessary to process waste coal mine gas, while also connecting to the existing 35PJ per annum capacity North Queensland Gas Pipeline for transport to the TECH Project and other customers in the Townsville region. This innovative project is a major step towards a cleaner and more sustainable future for Australia, and we are proud to be at the forefront of this change.
QPM Energy: Vertically Integrating the Gas Supply Chain for the TECH Project
QPM Energy is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) that was formed to own and manage the Gas Supply Chain for the TECH Project and other customers. The company is independently managed and forms a critical component in QPM’s vertical integration and energy independence strategies.
At full production, the TECH Project requires approximately 13PJ of gas per annum, providing a significant demand for QPM Energy and the CAH Project. QPM Energy has been actively working with regional mine operators to understand the available gas reserves and resources, and to establish waste gas collection projects. These projects include short-term opportunities for collecting gas that is already being produced and flared, as well as medium to longer-term opportunities for pre-drainage programs in line with future mine development.
This is a “win-win” situation for both the environment and QPM Energy, as the greenhouse gas emissions associated with metallurgical coal mining are significantly reduced, while QPM Energy secures a reliable gas supply. Based on the work undertaken by QPM Energy, it is confident that there are sufficient gas resources available to meet the needs of the TECH Project, with capacity to supply other gas users in the region.
Achieving Net Negative Carbon Emissions for the Tech Project
With more gas supply and TECH project data available, QPM commissioned Minviro to update its Life Cycle Assessment (“LCA”) undertaken in 2021 (see ASX release 5 November 2021). Minviro’s updated LCA, that passed third party critical review, calculates the TECH Project to be negative 989,213 tonnes CO2-e per annum, equivalent to approximately 215,000 typical passenger vehicles. The updated Minviro LCA reinforces the sustainability credentials of the TECH Project.
The CAH Project will be located in the Denham Park area of the NBB adjacent to existing and approved underground and open-cut mines. The region is characterised by high quality metallurgical coking coal essential to steel-making in the Asian region.
Geological formation of these deposits results in high methane gas content. Pre-mine drainage, capture and beneficial use by industry and to generate energy reduces fugitive emissions of methane, significantly lowering the greenhouse gas intensity of coal mining in the region.