MCi Carbon lays foundation for Myrtle carbon conversion plant in Australia

Apr 11 2024

The plant is now under construction in partnership with Oricaand will transform over 1,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions per annum captured from Orica’s ammonia plant into nearly 10,000 tonnes of low carbon materials.

MCi Carbon hosted Australia’s Minister for Climate Change and Energy the Hon. Chris Bowen MP at its Myrtle Foundation Ceremony, marking the beginning of construction of Australia's flagship carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) facility.

Taking place next to Orica’s Kooragang Island manufacturing plant, the ceremony represents the final step towards validating MCi’s technology for large scale industrial deployments with its customers in Europe, Japan, Australia and the US.

Minister Bowen placed a low-carbon cement brick in the site’s ‘Pathway to Net Zero’, representing the tangible impact of MCi’s technology which locks away CO2 permanently and safely into materials and other helpful products to decarbonise the built environment and manufacturing.

Speaking at the ceremony, Minister Bowen commented, “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.”

Joining Minister Bowen at the ceremony was Federal Member for Newcastle Ms Sharon Claydon MP, Orica CEO & Managing Director Sanjeev Gandhi and Japanese Ambassador to Australia Mr Suzuki Kazuhiro. Minister Bowen spoke about the immediate need for innovative technology solutions to avoid and remove carbon dioxide emissions - the world’s most pressing environmental problem - and cross-sector collaboration as the world transitions to a circular and net zero economy.

MCi Carbon founder and CEO Marcus Dawe commented, “MCi Carbon’s technology at scale has 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. What I hold in my hand today represents the real, tangible progress our team is making towards global climate change mitigation." 

"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.”

For over a decade, MCi Carbon has been developing its mineral carbonation technology that transforms CO2 into solid outputs such as calcium and magnesium carbonates for use in the built environment – meeting demand from the circular carbon economy.

In 2021, MCi 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. Myrtle is due to be completed, commissioned and operational by early 2025.

The foundation ceremony follows significant global investment in MCi Carbon, including Japan’s Sumitomo Mitsui Trust Bank which joined existing Japanese investors ITOCHU Corporation and Mizuho Bank as Japan 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 global leader in high-grade refractory products, systems, and solutions. Securing the first demonstration campaign with Myrtle, RHI Magnesita plans to scale the MCi technology capture and transform around 50,000 tons of CO2 per year to create carbon negative products for its European customers, bolstered by a US $10m investment from RHI Magnesita to scale-up MCi’s technology.

Last weekend (6 April), EU Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson visited MCi’s Carbon’s facilities to gain insights into the technology's potential for advancing the EU's CO2 reduction goals, highlighting the pivotal role of CCU technology for the decarbonisation both in Europe and globally.

On February 16 in Newcastle, Australia’s Prime Minister Anthony Albanese gave special mention to MCi Carbon, outlining the opportunities for Australia to decarbonise global industries.

“I want to see more Australian research incorporating Australian resources into technology made here in Australia. Like at MCi, where they are using technology developed at the University of Newcastle to transform captured carbon dioxide emissions into carbonate rock that can be used in building materials,” said Mr. Albanese

“We can be an exporter of clean energy technology and clean energy itself. Helping our neighbours reduce their emissions and bolster their energy security. There is a huge prize on offer here, across every sector of our economy and in every market in our region.”

MCi Carbon
Orica Kooragang Island

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Issue 98 - Mar - Apr 2024

CCUS in the U.S.: A New U.S. Industrial Backbone - Exploring Regional CCUS Hubs .. National Carbon Capture Center tops 150,000 testing hours .. Baker Hughes’ most interesting tech Morecambe Net Zero set to be one of UK and Europe’s largest CO2 store.....