Heidelberg Materials has revealed the EU Innovation Fund will turbocharge its plans for a fully decarbonised cement plant in Germany.
The fund, which is one of the world’s largest for low-carbon technology, will invest €191 million ($311m AUD) to develop the project at Heidelberg Material’s German Geseke cement plant.
The plant will produce carbon captured net-zero cement and clinker with the help of the funding which became active on January 1 following the successful grant agreement.
Chief sustainability officer and member of the managing board of Heidelberg Materials Dr Nicola Kimm said the successful agreement was a major milestone.
“(It) demonstrates the relevance of GeZero for the decarbonisation of our sector, and the trust that European authorities place in our approach,” she said.
“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 decarbonisation of our industry.”
Deputy Prime Minister of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia Mona Neubaur said the project was a boost for the German region.
“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,” she said.
“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.”
The EU Innovation Fund focuses on flagship projects with European value added that can bring significant emission reductions. In response to its third call for large-scale projects, the European Commission had received 239 applications while 37 were selected for funding. Last year, Heidelberg Materials’ Bulgaria site was chosen by the fund.
“Together with our partners, we walk the talk and pave the way for CCUS in Germany,” Christian Knell, general manager for Germany of Heidelberg Materials, said.