CEMEX plans to attribute more than half of its cement and concrete sales to its Vertua low-carbon options by 2025 and will increase its investment in the development of carbon capture projects, furthering its commitment to sustainability.
Launched in 2020, CEMEX’s Vertua range has CO2 reduction of at least 25 per cent versus traditional cements. In concrete, the CO2 reduction ranges from 30 per cent up to a full net-zero option.
Vertua cement accounted for 34 per cent of total sales in the first quarter of 2022 whilst Vertua concrete accounted for 31 per cent of total sales. This is almost double from the prior year, demonstrating a strong adoption rate and customer demand for low-carbon products.
For CEMEX, the development and customer acceptance of Vertua low-carbon products is an important milestone in its journey to become a net-zero CO2 company by 2050.
“The ultimate objective of our Future in Action program is to provide our customers with net-zero carbon products and solutions,” CEMEX chief executive Fernando Gonzalez said.
“Our Vertua products are an important step in this direction, designed to meet society’s demand for resilient and long-lasting buildings and infrastructure built with a lower carbon footprint.”
In addition to this, CEMEX’s corporate venture capital and open innovation unit CEMEX Ventures is set to increase investment in carbon capture technology company Carbon Clean.
Carbon Clean will scale its breakthrough modular technology to achieve industrial carbon capture on a gigaton scale. This technology will be piloted at CEMEX’s Victorville, California, cement plant, with funding partially granted by the United States Department of Energy.
“We are happy to increase our investment in Carbon Clean, recognising its significant contribution to scaling carbon capture technology and the decarbonisation of our industry,” head of CEMEX Ventures Gonzalo Galindo said.
“We continue enhancing our low-carbon investment portfolio and looking for new technologies to create a more sustainable industry.”
To further its commitment to sustainability, CEMEX has signed a memorandum of understanding to explore innovative technology to electrify cement kiln heating process with Finnish-Dutch company Coolbrook.
CEMEX will work with Coolbrook to test its patented technology, which replaces fossil fuels in the cement production process with electricity. When powered by electricity from renewable sources, the technology eliminates CO2 emissions from the fuels used in process heating.
The companies will work together to develop optimal electric process heating solutions that can be applied in the cement manufacturing process.
“The electrification of the heating and calcination process of cement production is an important step towards decarbonising our cement operations,” CEMEX Vice President of global operations, technical and energy Roberto Ponguta said.
“To the extent that we can use electricity from renewable sources, we can eliminate carbon emissions related to the heating of cement kilns.”
The companies expect this technology to be ready for commercial use at an industrial scale in 2024.