Hydrogen Energy has cancelled plans to build a pioneering coal fired power plant with carbon capture and storage (CCS) in Australia after geological studies determined that rock formations in the area were unsuitable for long-term storage of carbon dioxide (CO2).

The company – a joint venture between BP and Rio Tinto – was planning to build the 500 MW power plant in Kwinana, Western Australia, capturing CO2 by gasifying the coal. The captured CO2 was to have been injected into saline formations nearby.

“We had to be sure of there being a suitable sink for CO2 storage, but after a couple of years of studying we cannot be completely certain,” said a Hydrogen Energy spokesperson.

The company says it had drawn its conclusions after carrying out geological and seismic studies. It had not carried out any injection tests.

Hydrogen Energy is currently developing two other key power plant CCS projects – in Abu Dhabi and California. It says it will continue to consider other opportunities in Australia.