This project ran from 7 March 2015 to 30 May 2015. Being able to take time to concentrate on engagement in China allowed me to work with the Guangdong Development and Reform Commission (GDDRC) on potential financial support mechanisms for CCUS projects in Guangdong. As a result the GDDRC awarded a contract to the UK-China Guangdong CCUS Centre to formulate a report and an implementation proposal for including CCUS in Guangdong Emission Trading System in 2016. The report will be published in December 2016 and will acknowledge the UKCCSRC travel grant. In addition, GDDRC is also considering offering extra planned electricity generation hours to pioneer CCUS projects in Guangdong – a very important practical impact from this project. The policy is likely applied in early 2017 with China Resources Power Haifeng Project as the first potential receiver.
CCS has an important role in low carbon, energy saving and emission reduction, CCS is an important technology for China and incorporating CCS into the carbon market will bring confidence to the CCS industry. One of the main recommendations from the discussions on this project was the establishment in Guangdong and China generally of a set of CCS transport and storage certificate mechanisms. Promoting the development of CCUS, the “use (of CCS)” into “(the use of CCUS to achieve) emission reduction” could also help to mobilize enterprise enthusiasm. In Guangdong the expectation now is that the carbon market will become the core of the emission reduction mechanism and the use of a carbon market to support CCS will be significant and realistic.
Also during the trip I worked with CNOOC, Prof Di Zhou from the South China Sea Institute of Oceanology and a group of researchers to deliver a report on offshore CO2 storage in China. The study shortlisted 4 potential storage sites in the Pearl River Mouth Basin from 16 candidate sites. The report will be published as an academic paper format in both English and in Chinese in late 2016 and early 2017. As in the UK, sites for storing CO2 from Guangdong are offshore, because the onshore sedimentary basins are small and land resources are limited in Guangdong, and it has no CO2 storage potential onshore. But there are large-scale offshore sedimentary basins with good geological conditions and vast CO2 storage potential. Preliminary assessment shows that there is sufficient storage just in the Pearl River Mouth Basin for large-scale point sources in Guangdong to store hundreds of years of CO2 emissions. Potential storage sites match well with CO2 point sources along the coast, at 120-300km distance.
CCUS source and sink matching for Guangdong and the Pearl River Basin
A high point of the trip was the launch of the UK-China (Guangdong) CCUS Centre Carbon Capture Ready (CCR) Report for the China Resources Power (Haifeng) Units 3 and 4, 2 x 1000MW Ultra-supercritical Coal-fired Plants, in Guangzhou on 19 March 2015. These units could be the first full-scale power plant CCUS project with offshore storage in China, storing over 10 million tonnes of CO2 a year. The same site will shortly host a pilot slipstream post-combustion plant to support the development of this larger project.