EU Innovation Fund to support first fully decarbonized cement plant in Germany

Andrew Snook   

Features carbon capture carbon-free cement cement plant EU Innovation Fund Heidelberg Materials net zero

EU Innovation Fund to offer €191 million in funding to support Heidelberg Materials' GeZero project 

Geseke GeZero. Heidelberg Materials' cement plant in Geseke, Germany. Photo: Heidelberg Materials.

Heidelberg Materials recently announced that it will receive €191 million in support from the EU Innovation Fund to assist in the development of a unique CCS value chain at the German Geseke cement plant.

The EU Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest funding programmes for innovative low-carbon technologies. The funding offered through the fund complements significant investments being made by Heidelberg Materials.

The project is scheduled be launched on January 1, 2024, following the completion of the grant agreement. Once the project is completed, Heidelberg Materials’ Geseke cement plant will become the first German cement plant to produce carbon captured net-zero cement and clinker.

“The successful grant agreement demonstrates the relevance of GeZero for the decarbonization of our sector, and the trust that European authorities place in our approach,” says Dr. Nicola Kimm, chief sustainability officer and member of the managing board of Heidelberg Materials. “We just recently introduced our evoZero brand, the world’s first carbon captured net-zero cement on the market. The product will initially be offered through our Brevik CCS project in Norway. Once other capture projects such as GeZero start operations, these plants will also be able to deliver net-zero cement and clinker to customers, significantly speeding up the decarbonization of our industry.”

“About one third of the German cement production is located in North Rhine-Westphalia. We are therefore delighted that the first carbon-free cement plant in Geseke in the district of Soest is a flagship project for a sustainable and climate-neutral future in the cement industry,” stated Mona Neubaur, Germany’s Minister for Economic Affairs, Industry, Climate Action and Energy and Deputy Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. “GeZero shows how climate protection through new technologies and processes can also be achieved in energy-intensive industries. The project represents a decisive step towards a future-proof cement production and the transition to a net-zero industry in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany and beyond.”

Heidelberg Materials stated that in addition to the construction of the capture facility and a new oxyfuel kiln, GeZero’s unique approach includes a CO₂ transport solution via train to bridge the gap until the necessary pipeline infrastructure will be available and is scaled to capture around 700,000 tonnes of CO₂ annually. The CO₂ will be transported to Wintershall Dea’s CO₂ hub to be safely stored in the North Sea. Construction of the facility will start in 2026, and commissioning is planned for 2029.

“Together with our partners, we walk the talk and pave the way for CCUS in Germany,” says Christian Knell, general manager, Germany, Heidelberg Materials. “GeZero will complement our global project portfolio with a truly unique approach. We are developing a promising novel solution for inland cement sites, with the intention to inspire industry peers and other emission-intensive sectors to follow.”

Source: Heidelberg Materials.

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