US supermajor ExxonMobil has unveiled plans to capture and reuse carbon dioxide from its operations in Australia’s offshore Gippsland basin.

ExxonMobil revealed Friday that French company Air Liquide had commenced construction of a processing facility to capture and recycle CO2 from ExxonMobil’s Longford gas conditioning plant in Victoria.

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The plan will allow CO2 captured during the processing of Gippsland gas to be processed and purified to food and beverage grade quality.

Under a long term agreement signed last year, ExxonMobil’s Esso Australia subsidiary will capture and send excess CO2 from the Longford gas conditioning plant to Air Liquide, which will then process and provide it in various forms across Australian businesses.

“CO2 is a valuable and in-demand gas, typically used by the food, beverage, hospitality, manufacturing and medical industries for a variety of important functions that are essential to everyday life,” said ExxonMobil Australia chairman Dylan Pugh.

“Esso Australia is actively pursuing opportunities to provide CO2 from our operations to customers for beneficial use, supporting our own emissions reduction goals while maintaining our supply of essential energy to Australia.”

Pugh added the new facility would bolster the local economy by generating about 60 new jobs in the region throughout its construction and operations.

“We’re committed to exploring innovative ideas and leveraging our extensive energy network to contribute to the decarbonisation of Gippsland gas,” said Pugh.

“Decarbonising Gippsland gas presents opportunities for the Gippsland region to maintain its role as one of Australia’s significant energy hubs, supporting local jobs and our ongoing supply of energy Australians rely on.”

ExxonMobil has been active in Victoria’s offshore Gippsland basin for nearly 60 years, drilling its first well in the Bass Strait in 1965, with its operations delivering more than 4 million barrels of oil and 10 trillion cubic feet of natural gas to Australia.

Its still producing platforms in the Gippsland basin include the Barracouta, Malin A and B, West Tuna, Halibut, Cobia, West Kingfish, Tuna and Snapper platforms.

ExxonMobil operates the Gippsland joint venture in a 50:50 partnership with Australian resources giant BHP, which is currently in the process of offloading its oil and gas division to fellow Australian company Woodside Petroleum.

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