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Heidelberg targets clay for emissions reduction

Heidelberg Materials

A french cement factory is set to benefit from a major cash injection to help transform its operations to be more environmentally friendly.

Heidelberg Materials has unveiled a major plan to invest €65 million ($105,477,790.80) into its cement production plant in France.

The cement plant — located in Bussac-Forêt — will undergo an expansion with the investment set to fund a facility to produce calcined clay and boost its low-carbon production.

It comes at a time when the Australian sector is searching for ways to decarbonise its operations in the future with companies looking to innovate new ideas.

Heidelberg Materials chairman Dr Dominik von Achten said the initiative will help cut the site’s carbon emissions by 20 per cent.

“Our most recent investment in innovative technologies in France demonstrates Heidelberg Materials’ strong commitment to decarbonize our products,” von Achten said.

“The launch of the transformative project in Bussac-Forêt will be supported by a favourable administrative and regulatory environment.”

The company has started a pilot program of calcined clay in Ghana — home to one of the world’s largest calciners — which is set to inform their new project in France.

Ghana’s calciner is set to have a capacity of more than 400,000 tonnes per year.

The calcined clay will allow the company to produce a new and improved range of clay cement.

The cement will have less clinker because the calcined clay can replace elements of the CO2-intensive clinker in cement.

Heidelberg’s chief sustainability officer Dr Nicola Kimm said the replacement could yield a major reduction in CO2 emissions for the company which is in line with its values.
“We are investing in a technology with great potential. It will allow us to significantly expand the range of low-carbon products,” Kimm said.

“Using calcined clay as a clinker substitute is an important measure to reduce the carbon footprint of cement and concrete. In principle, a CO2 reduction of up to 40% is possible when substituting cement clinker with calcined clay.”

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