Landslide Caused by Exxon Operations?
A deadly landslide near an Exxon Mobil $15.7 billion gas project in Papua New Guinea raises questions about the company's desperate scramble for resources abroad. Although the incident occurred in January, it stirred little media attention.
In developing the upstream portion of its project, Exxon was using a quarry to produce rock and gravel, but has said it is unclear what caused the disaster. There is evidence that the quarrying work was being rushed under tight construction deadlines, but the Papua New Guinea government has denied such claims. Italian firm D'Appolonia found that the company's quarrying operations did not meet environmental and social standards less than a year prior to the incident.
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"The overall impression of (the consultant) is that incidents and situations have developed because the project has circumvented correct procedures in the interest of schedule...," D'Appolonia said in a report dated March last year and commissioned by the project's main creditors.
D'Appolonia said in a later report that conditions at the Tumbi quarry had improved by August, but many locals claim Exxon is expanding the quarry too rapidly. Poorly managed quarries and mines often contribute to large landslides.
Exxon denies claims it put time stamps on the project before safety. The government has instituted an investigation to clear the air.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.