11 May 2012 – On Friday 4th of May, South Africa’s Cabinet approved a carbon capture and storage (CSS) roadmap for the storage of carbon dioxide (CO2) in deep geological formations. CCS has been identified in the South African government’s long-term mitigation scenarios plan as one of the options to reduce CO2, which is associated with global warming.
The country’s minister for performance monitoring and evaluation, Collins Chabane said the country had voluntarily committed to reduce CO2 emissions by 34% in 2020, and by 45% in 2025, on condition that the requisite technological and financial support was provided.
CCS involves capturing CO2 from a point source, such as a power station or coal-to-fuel plant, transporting it (usually by pipeline) and pumping it down a borehole into porous rock formations deep underground, where it is contained and stored.
The country recently released a geological storage atlas that identified potential CCS areas in South Africa. The next step in the CCS roadmap process is expected to be a test injection of CO2 into a suitable geologic formation, to determine whether such storage can be safely undertaken in South Africa.