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Off the back of announcing a $15 million emissions reduction package, the Victorian Government has invested a further $600,000 in brown coal technologies.

The investment will enable Australian Carbon Innovation to continue its work in developing high-value, low emission products using the Latrobe Valley’s significant brown-coal resource.

The funding aims to back research and development to harness the state’s valuable resources, generating new industries and supporting local jobs.

Australian Carbon Innovation can now maintain its operations and seek additional partnership opportunities to further research and develop new high-value products from brown coal including hydrogen, carbon fibres, graphenes and fertilisers.

The Victorian Government’s Statement on Future Uses of Brown Coal sets the parameters around the use of coal to ensure only low-emission product development can take place.

Australian Carbon Innovation has a track record of furthering low-emissions opportunities for Victoria’s brown coal resources, including its work with Federation University to deliver a feasibility study for the establishment of the Regional Carbon Innovation Centre in Gippsland.

The production of clean hydrogen from brown coal in the Latrobe Valley is a significant opportunity for creating jobs and boosting the state’s low emission fuel capability.

Victoria currently has the largest hydrogen demonstration project in the world – the Hydrogen Energy Supply Chain pilot project – underway to support fuel cell vehicle development and power generation in Japan.

Underpinning commercial hydrogen production in the Latrobe Valley is the CarbonNet project, with work underway to assess how the seabed off the coast of Gippsland could store carbon dioxide (CO2).

CarbonNet’s key storage site has the potential to store the equivalent CO2 emissions from one million cars annually for 25 years.

Carbon capture and storage is a proven process with over 20 sites around the world successfully operating at a commercial scale. In Victoria, CO2 has been successfully stored for a decade at the Otway CO2CRC test facility.

Earlier in May 2020, the Federal Parliament passed a bill supporting the development of CarbonNet by clarifying the governance of the geological resources where CO2 can be stored across state and Federal waters.

Victorian Minister for Resources, Jaclyn Symes, said it was important to back innovation in the pursuit of new jobs and industries.

“I know the Gippsland Regional Partnership has flagged that Latrobe Valley locals want to see investment in new technologies,” Ms Symes said.

“The work of Australian Carbon Innovation and CarbonNet is vital in placing Victoria at the forefront of global low-emission technology development.”

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