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Heidelberg Materials launch CCUS project in France

Rendering of the Heidelberg Materials Airvault cement plant after completion of the modernization project
Rendering of the Heidelberg Materials Airvault cement plant after completion of the modernization project

Planned AirvaultGOCO2 project forms part of GOCO2 initiative to decarbonize the West of France

AS the latest addition to their broad portfolio of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) initiatives, Heidelberg Materials will realize another CCUS project at their Airvault cement plant in the French New Aquitaine region.

The AirvaultGOCO2 project, with a planned capture capacity of approximately 1 million tonnes annually, is part of the GOCO2 initiative to decarbonize the West of France.

 

Dr Dominik von Achten, chairman of the managing board of Heidelberg Materials, said: ‘We started an ambitious modernization programme for our French sites several years ago, with a planned investment of more than €400 million.

‘With the integration of AirvaultGOCO2, we are now adding a cutting-edge project in the field of carbon capture to our previous efforts, which will enable a further, massive reduction of Heidelberg Materials’ carbon footprint in France.’

The Airvault modernization project is currently under construction. This includes the replacement of the two current semi-dry firing lines with a new dry line, including a pre-calciner with a capacity of 4,000 tonnes per day. In future, almost 90% of the plant’s energy demand will be covered by alternative fuels.

The project will also reduce the electricity consumption per tonne of cement by 10%. In addition, the proportion of clinker in the cement will be lowered. Together, these measures will reduce the carbon footprint of the cement produced at the Airvault plant by almost 30% compared with current production.

Dr Nicola Kimm, chief sustainability officer and member of the managing board of Heidelberg Materials
Dr Nicola Kimm, chief sustainability officer and member of the managing board of Heidelberg Materials

‘Our approach in Airvault is a perfect example of Heidelberg Materials’ strategy to implement dedicated carbon reduction roadmaps,’ said Dr Nicola Kimm, chief sustainability officer and member of the managing board. ‘We are taking every possible step to reduce CO2 emissions: Phasing out fossil fuels, reducing the clinker content of our cements, and improving energy efficiency. To mitigate the remaining residual emissions, we rely on CCUS – as part of an integrated scheme and with our strong partners in GOCO2.’

AirvaultGOCO2 is part of the GOCO2 initiative launched in July 2023, an investment programme to capture CO2 at industrial sites and transport it to geological storage sites for permanent storage. The emissions, including the CO2 captured in Airvault, are to be transported by pipeline to the coastal town of Saint-Nazaire and then by ship to storage wells under the North Sea.

The biogenic part of the captured CO2, ie the part corresponding to the emissions from the combustion of biomass, is to be used for the production of e-fuels, which are essential for sustainable transport by air and sea.

Subject to the granting of public subsidies and the various regulatory approvals required for implementation, the aim is to capture the first tonnes of CO2 in Airvault in 2030. 

 

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