Queensland’s energy ministry has released a tender to explore land in the central and south-western part of the Australian state for underground storage of carbon dioxide gas.

The 13 sites identified by the government cover 66,000kmĀ² in the Blackall-Tambo, the Roma-Wandoan and the Chinchilla-Moonie areas.

Mines and Energy Minister Stephen Robertson said that sufficient land has been released to give preference to Queensland-based ventures as part of the Commonwealth’s Carbon Capture and Storage Flagship programme.

However, Australia is expected to continue relying on coal as a major source of power generation, and is planning to work on the development of clean coal technologies according to the Austalian government. With growing electricity demand and an abundant supply of low-cost, high-quality thermal coal, Queensland is well placed to pioneer low-emission coal technology.