GE Joins Australians for Carbon Capture, Storage Projects

GE Energy, a developer of advanced coal technology, has joined an Australian government-supported initiative to facilitate the development and deployment of carbon capture and storage projects worldwide.

Under a memorandum of understanding signed by General Electric International and the Australian government, GE is becoming a founding member of the Global Carbon Capture and Storage Institute (GCCSI). The institute will provide international policy and management oversight with a goal of delivering commercial-scale CCS plants around the world. Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's government has pledged to provide up to $100 million per year to fund the institute.

"Coal is critical to Australia—and the world's—power supply, and it is a multibillion dollar export that is important to Australia's economy and the thousands of jobs it supports. The long-term viability of this industry depends on our ability to use our technology and know-how to reduce CO2 emissions in the process of generating electricity from coal," said Steve Sargent, chief executive officer, GE Australia & New Zealand. "We applaud the Australian government's commitment to work with industry to develop and implement solutions for reducing CO2 emissions. Forming the CCS Institute underscores Australia's decision to take a leadership role in tackling the critical issues that threaten the long-term environmental health of our planet."

"As a leader in IGCC technologies for power generation—a commercially proven technology that is well-suited for carbon capture—GE Energy heartily supports and plans to work to achieve the goals of the CCS Institute," said Steve Bolze, vice president, Power & Water, GE Energy. "We recognize the urgent need for a global portfolio of commercial-scale CCS technology projects that can utilize coal, one of the world's most abundant and available resources, to help meet both the growing demand for energy and increasing environmental regulations."

The company's IGCC gasification process converts coal and other heavy fuels into a high-value fuel, known as synthesis gas or syngas. The syngas is cleaned and then used in efficient combined-cycle systems to generate electricity.