South African Centre for Carbon Capture & Storage



The strategy for CCS deployment in South Africa is divided in the following phases and their current status are:

  1. Preliminary Potential Investigation (Completed); a preliminary investigation was undertaken by the CSIR for the then Department of Minerals and Energy to ascertain whether South Africa had potential capturable carbon dioxide sources and storage sites. Results of that investigation, released during 2004, showed theoretically that South Africa had capturable emissions and potential storage sites. Based on this premise, further investigations were initiated.
  2. Geological Storage Atlas (completed); following a preliminary theoretical study that indicated that South Africa could have sufficient storage capacity, a project to derive more authoritative storage information commenced during September, 2008. The Carbon Dioxide Geological Storage Atlas has located and characterised potential storage sites at a theoretical level. The Atlas will be taken into the Centre’s programme of work and further developed to locate a storage site suitable for the PCSP.
  3. Pilot Carbon Dioxide Storage Project Experiment (Planned); a test of safely injecting carbon dioxide into South African reservoirs is essential to the understanding of the suitability of the local geology as a storage medium. It is also necessary to ascertain the dispersion and transformation reactions of the carbon dioxide in the storage medium and its effects on the surroundings of the storage medium. This experiment will be informed by similar injection activities currently underway internationally. The ultimate purpose of the Experiment is to show to decision makers that carbon capture and storage can be safely undertaken in South Africa.
  4. Demonstration Plant (Planned); a demonstration plant will test an integrated operating system under local conditions and forms an essential link between feasibility trials and a full scale commercial plant. This phase will demonstrate the capture, transport and safe injection of Carbon Dioxide into South African geological formations. The magnitude of the demonstration plant is in the order of hundreds of thousands of tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
  5. Commercial Operation (Planned); if positive outcomes of the demonstration plant ensue, a full scale commercial plant is envisaged. It is expected that this phase will not be a part of the South African Centre for Carbon Capture & Storage. The magnitude of the commercial scale operation is in the order of millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.

In support of the five phases, research and development of human capacity will be performed in parallel site selection processes as shown below.