Glencore, Amazon-backed start-up make play for CCS funding



Taronga Ventures is pleased to announce its investment into CarbonCure Technologies, a Canadian based cleantech company that has developed carbon dioxide removal solutions for the concrete industry, as part of a syndicate that includes Amazon‘s Climate Pledge Fund, Breakthrough Energy VenturesMicrosoftBDC Capital (Canada)2150, Thistledown Foundation, and GreenSoil Investments.

According to the World Green Building Council, buildings are currently responsible for 39% of global energy related carbon emissions: 28% from operational emissions and the remaining 11% from construction and materials such as concrete.

CarbonCure will accelerate its product roadmap and geographical expansion in order to meet its goal of removing 500 megatonnes of carbon dioxide annually from the concrete industry by 2030.

Driving a more sustainable real estate sector and built environment is a key focus for Taronga Ventures. We look forward to working with our investors, corporate partners and Asian real estate network to bring stronger, more sustainable concrete to the region.


Glencore, Amazon-backed start-up make play for CCS funding

Author: James Fernyhough, Australian Financial Review, Sep 18, 2020 – 3.14pm

Two early candidates have emerged for the federal government’s $50 million carbon capture and storage fund: a traditional CCS project in Queensland and a Canada-based, Amazon-and Microsoft-backed company that stores carbon dioxide in the concrete used for construction.

This week the federal government announced it would expand the remits of the Australian Renewable Energy Agency and the Clean Energy Finance Corporation to allow for $50 million of funding of carbon capture and storage.

Mining giant Glencore was quick off the blocks, saying a carbon capture and storage project in Queensland is in an advanced stage of development, and could qualify for the government’s funding measures.

The project, called CTSCo, would capture carbon dioxide from a coal-fired power station and store the gas underground in the southern Surat Basin.

The company said the project was in the testing phase and it would decide next year whether to go ahead with it. At a cost of $230 million, the project is part-funded by LET Australia and the Australian National Low Emissions Coal R&D limited.

“The project is well-advanced, with a testing on appraisal wells for CO2 storage currently underway. The storage component of the CTSCo Project provides a potential pathway to an industrial scale storage hub in Queensland capable of servicing multiple industrial users including coal, natural gas and hydrogen,” the company said in a statement.

Glencore Coal chief Mick Buffier said the project could “make a meaningful contribution to the national effort to deliver significant emission reductions in Australia”.

Another early candidate for the CCS funding was CarbonCure Technologies, a Canadian “cleantech” company that has developed technology that stores CO2 captured in the cement-making process in concrete.

Local venture capital firm Taronga Ventures, which is backed by Dexus and CBRE, this week took a stake in the company with the intention of bringing it to the Australian market. Taronga managing partner Jonathan Hannam said he believed it is the sort of project that would qualify for government support.

“It would be completely in line with what they would look to support and bring into Australia,” he said. He said major property funds were increasingly bringing in emissions reduction targets and low carbon concrete would help them meet these goals.

He also said some of the big US tech companies, such as Amazon and Microsoft, had invested in CarbonCure – a sign, he said, that demand for low-carbon concrete could explode.

The cement industry is a major contributor to greenhouse emissions, emitting around 8 per cent of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

CarbonCure’s technology currently only reduces the carbon footprint of its concrete by 5 to 6 per cent, but says it believes technologies currently in testing phase could ramp that figure up to 20 per cent.

The government’s CCS funding pledge was part of a $1.9 billion “new technologies” package, aimed at funding fledgling projects such as making gas-fired hydrogen fuel – a process that still needs CCS as the process releases carbon dioxide that has to be buried if the hydrogen is to pass as clean energy.