World’s first carbon-neutral cement plant will boost biomass use

HeidelbergCement will upgrade its plant in Gotland, Sweden to become the world’s first carbon-neutral cement plant.

The installation at the Slite plant of HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary, Cementa, will also be scaled to capture 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 annually, covering the plant’s total emissions.

Additionally, the use of bio-based fuels in the cement production at Slite will be increased in line with the group’s commitment to significantly raise the share of biomass in the fuel mix. The full-scale capturing of the facility’s CO2 emissions is scheduled for 2030.

“HeidelbergCement will be the leader in the global cement industry on its transformation path towards climate neutrality,” said Dr Dominik von Achten, chairman of the managing board of HeidelbergCement.

“Key for decarbonising our industry is to find, apply, and scale technical solutions for carbon capture and utilisation or storage (CCU/S).

“After having gained valuable experience with CCU/S technologies in Norway and other countries, we are now excited to take the next step with a completely carbon-neutral cement plant in Sweden. This will be a game-changer for our industry.”

The carbon capture facility will be built next to the existing plant in Slite, where three-quarters of the cement used for concrete production in Sweden is currently produced. The captured CO2 will be safely transported to a permanent storage site offshore, several kilometres down in bedrock.

The authorisation processes and construction period are estimated to take just under 10 years. A feasibility study, which has already been launched, will address critical issues related to technology selection, environmental impact, legal issues, financing, logistics, and energy supply.

HeidelbergCement is currently building the world’s first full-scale installation for carbon capture at the Brevik cement plant in Norway, capturing 400,000 tonnes annually.

“Based on the positive collaboration with the Norwegian Government and other partners at our site in Brevik, we have now chosen to significantly ramp up our ambitions for a carbon capture installation in Sweden that is four times larger,” said Giv Brantenberg, general manager of HeidelbergCement northern Europe.

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