• HeidelbergCement to develop world’s first carbon neutral cement plant

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

HeidelbergCement has announced that it will attempt to develop the world’s first net-zero carbon emissions cement plant in Slite, Sweden by 2030, as the Financial Times reports. The company is already working on a US$397 million (€326 million) carbon capture facility at its Brevik plant in Norway, for which it received governmental approval late last year, along with two-thirds funding from the Norwegian government. While it is due to come online in 2024, Heidelberg is stepping up its decarbonisation efforts. The Slite project, more ambitious, and at Sweden’s largest cement plant, is expected to cost three to four times that of the Brevik one, and although there will probably be funding from the Swedish government, it will not form as high a portion of the costs. Swedish minister for enterprise Ibrahim Baylan told reporters that in the long run, “we expect industry to make these investments for themselves,” which is perfectly reasonable after the industry and the markets around it become mature. Initially, the Slite installation will store captured carbon dioxide in depleted oil and gas fields, but Heidelberg will explore means of turning this into utilisation, rather than storage, to create a revenue stream. For the cement industry as a whole, responsible for something like 18% of industrial CO2 emissions, the announcement is a highly significant one, given also that it is difficult to replace the core process of calcination. Mr Baylan argues that for Heidelberg, it will be a move that will put the company in an ideal place to increase its global market share by being a leader in low/zero-carbon cement.