In recent years, Carbon Capture Utilization and Storage (CCUS) discussions have gained traction in Southeast Asia (SEA). CCUS’ strategic value lies in its ability to retrofit existing assets and hard-to-abate sectors. The young fleet of coal and gas power plants in SEA suggests the region may present the right fit for CCUS applications.
It is critical to understand that CCUS is not a monolithic subject. Examples of CCUS applications include gas processing and power generation. Each application primarily runs on separate tracks with their own maturity and costs projections. Three applications currently dominate the discussions in SEA: gas processing, industries/product based CCUS for hydrogen/ammonia, and potential future usage in the power sector. Gas processing CCUS is arguably the lowest cost and most mature application, primarily due to the relative ease of capturing highly concentrated carbon dioxide (CO2) in its flue gas, compared to the diluted low-pressure CO2 in power sector applications.
In planning ahead for their respective net zero targets, stakeholders in SEA should clearly understand what CCUS could and could not likely offer – sorting out the myths and realities.