Last week we were proud to receive an Industry Award for Santos’ Repurposed PNG Biomass ‘carbon abatement project’ – a sustainable nature-based carbon sequestration project in Papua New Guinea that is providing decarbonisation, building habitat and better social outcomes for local communities.
In Sydney last week, at the 16th PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference, the project won the Chamber of Mines and Petroleum 2022 Industry Award for ‘Outstanding environmental or climate change initiative’. Since 2010, the Markham Valley in the Morobe Province on the north side of Papua New Guinea has housed the PNG Biomass Project. In line with the recent launch of our new purpose and Vision2040, the project has been repurposed to a conservation forest for carbon sequestration, to support Santos’ net-zero scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions target by 2040.
The project is managed by Santos’ Carbon Solutions business and has planted approximately four million trees across 3,600 hectares of plantations along the 160 kilometre length of the Markham Valley. As part of the project, Santos operates a nursery with the capacity to hold 250,000 trees but typically runs at around 50% capacity. The project has maintained more than 100 Community Land Use Agreements with clans along the valley and that number is set to build as we aim to plant predominantly native species across 12,000ha of underutilised grassland.
At the conference, Santos President Upstream Oil & Gas Brett Darley said, “carbon solutions prioritising nature-based carbon offset projects across our areas of operation provide the benefits of decarbonisation, as well as better social outcomes for local communities.”
“The repurposed project premise is quite straightforward. We work to establish and grow trees that take carbon from the atmosphere; we enhance biodiversity by creating habitat; and we deliver social development and economic benefit to communities,” said Brett.
“We are aiming for the project to sequester over eight million tonnes of carbon over its life, a great step towards decarbonisation in PNG.”
The project is an exciting first step for Santos into nature-based carbon solutions. As the trees grow, Santos aims to work with the community to measure growth, using the data to calculate the amount of carbon that is captured annually by the trees. This process will generate PNG-grown Carbon Credits for international carbon markets.
This repurposing of the PNG Biomass projects underlying assets and sanction of a three to four decade long nature based carbon capture project is a clear demonstration of Santos’ long term commitment to investing in PNG, habitat build and its people, whilst supporting global efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
To read Brett Darley’s full address at the 16th PNG Mining and Petroleum Conference, click here.