Abstract Studies of the cost of carbon capture and storage (CCS) frequently make a single set of assumptions about the characteristics of the source of CO 2and the injection site (the sink). However, in practice, the design of the whole CCS system will require optimisation involving selecting the appropriate pipeline sizes, the pipeline route, the number, type and placing of injection wells. This study reports the optimisation of a possible CCS project in Australia and examines the effects of different parameters in designing the system. The area in and surrounding Gladstone, Rockhampton, Stanwell and Callide (“Gladrock”) in Central Queensland Australia emits over 40.5 million tonnes (Mt) of carbon dioxide (CO 2) from fixed sources every year. The study examines least cost solutions for CCS technologies in the Gladstone and Rockhampton area. The study optimises the cost of transporting CO 2from power stations in the Gladrock region and injecting the CO 2in the Aramac coal measures. Basic engineering results together with the capital and operating costs of the whole project and individual sets of equipment are assessed. Large compressors of several hundred megawatts are required at each source to raise the CO 2to supercritical conditions for transport and storage. Carbon dioxide is maintained in a supercritical state by booster pumps. The paper analyses the effect of the following aspects of the CCS process - network configurations, flow rates, well types, permeability and best combinations of compressors and pipelines. The paper shows that the cost depends mainly on pipeline characteristics, permeability, flow rate and the type of wells used.