Efforts to promote carbon capture move forward

Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli.

PETALING JAYA: Efforts are under way to move forward preparation for a comprehensive legal framework to implement carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) initiatives in the country.

A memorandum on the matter was tabled to the Cabinet yesterday.

Last week, Economy Minister Rafizi Ramli said the ministry was expected to table the progressive regulatory framework bill on CCUS in Parliament during the November session this year.

However, prior to this, a progressive regulatory framework would first be presented during the Cabinet meeting this week before the bill is tabled in Parliament for approval later in the year.

In a statement yesterday, Rafizi said the establishment of the legal framework takes into account the cohesiveness of implementation, ability to attract high impact investments and means to manage risk and liabilities.

This, he said, resulted in some considerations such as a standalone CCUS Bill that will be tabled by the end of 2024 and bilateral agreements to position Malaysia as a regional carbon capture and storage (CCS) hub to capitalise on opportunities in an era of energy transitions.

“The CCUS Bill aims to enable the governance of all aspects along the CCUS value chain, namely carbon capture, transportation, utilisation and storage of carbon dioxide.

“The storage activities will initially focus on offshore areas before potentially being implemented onshore.

“The suitability of utilising onshore storage is subject to a feasibility study to be conducted at a later stage. This bill will be administered by a governance body at the federal level together with a technically competent entity,” he said.

Rafizi added the bilateral agreements to position the nation as a regional CCUS hub can be achieved by providing a first-of-its-kind integrated CCUS solution for industries in Asia Pacific.

“Failing which, Malaysia will need to wait for another 20 to 30 years before such an opportunity arises again,” he said.

Rafizi said various socioeconomic benefits for Malaysia can be unlocked through the development of the CCUS industry in the country. This will contribute to economic growth, creation of skilled and high-value jobs , and advancement of new technology and innovation.

“In addition, CCUS projects are seen to become an important link in the transition to new circular economies, such as in the production of carbon dioxide-based synthetic fuels such as e-methanol, cosmetics, carbon fibre, concrete curing and microalgae production,” he said.

“Moreover, CCUS is key to building a new economic paradigm for a more resilient and sustainable future for the country, Rafizi said.

“At the same time, it allows Malaysia to balance economic interests and achieve its net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target as early as 2050, aspiring for a just transition for all Malaysians.”

Among the solutions outlined in the National Energy Transition Roadmap (NETR) is recognising CCUS as one of six energy-transition levers.

CCUS has also been identified as among the 10 flagship catalyst projects and initiatives under the NETR that will be a new source of economic growth for the country.

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