'Myrtle': Australia's new embodied carbon facility

Friday, 12 April, 2024

'Myrtle': Australia's new embodied carbon facility

Minister for Climate Change and Energy Chris Bowen has participated in a foundation ceremony for an upcoming carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) facility in Newcastle. The facility, named ‘Myrtle’, is owned and will be operated by Australian clean technology company MCi Carbon.

MCi Carbon has been developing its proprietary mineral carbonation technology for over a decade, transforming CO2 into solid outputs such as calcium and magnesium carbonates for use in the built environment.

In 2021, the company secured AU$14.6m from the Australian Government CCUS Development Fund to build Myrtle as part of the government’s low emissions and renewable energy strategy. The plant is now under construction in partnership with Orica, its major investor and industrial partner. Located at Kooragang Island alongside the Newcastle Port, MCi’s plant aims to transform over 1000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum captured from Orica’s ammonia plant and produce nearly 10,000 tonnes of valuable new low-carbon embodied materials.

Minister Bowen delivers speech at Myrtle with MCi co-founder Marcus Dawe, Orica CEO Sanjeev Ghandi, MP Sharon Claydon and Japanese Ambassador to Australia Suzuki Kazuhiro.

Speaking at the ceremony, Bowen said, “The regions that have powered Australia for so long are those that will drive our clean energy future for decades to come — and no more so than the Hunter. Today is a good day for the Hunter, for Australia and for MCi Carbon as an innovative Australian technology.

“We’re creating positive change for our future, our planet and our decarbonisation while creating thousands of good-paying, highly skilled jobs.

“To get to 43% emissions reduction in our country, we need to reduce emissions at source and in production. That’s what MCi’s low-carbon bricks are doing, both by reducing carbon emissions in our buildings, as well as storing carbon in ways that aren’t in our atmosphere.”

MCi Carbon founder and CEO Marcus Dawe said that the company’s technology had the capability to change the trajectory of the global path to net zero by permanently and safely locking away more than 10% of global emissions when scaled.

“The technology captures and transforms CO2 from a harmful gas emission into solid carbon embodied materials. These can be used in cement, concrete, plasterboard, glass, paper and many other manufactured products and as green inputs into the world’s future built environment,” Dawe said.

Joining Bowen at the ceremony were Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon MP, Orica CEO & Managing Director Sanjeev Gandhi and Japanese Ambassador to Australia Suzuki Kazuhiro.

MCi Carbon has received significant global investment, including from Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank, ITOCHU Corporation and Mizuho Bank as that country accelerates its transition to net zero emissions.

In Europe, MCi commenced preliminary engineering work in January 2024 for its first industrial large-scale plant in collaboration with RHI Magnesita, the Austrian-founded multinational dealing in high‐grade refractory products, systems and solutions. Securing the first demonstration campaign with Myrtle, RHI Magnesita has invested US$10m to scale up the MCi technology to capture and transform about 50,000 tons of CO2 per year to create carbon negative products for its European customers.

Myrtle is due to be completed, commissioned and operational by early 2025.

Top image caption: Delegation with Minister Bowen at MCi Carbon Myrtle Foundation Ceremony.

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