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Carbon capture makes all our cement net zero, claims Heidelberg

29 Nov 23 Heidelberg Materials’ new EvoZero cement represents “a paradigm shift”, according to the company’s chairman.

The Brevik cement plant in Norway [© Heidelberg Materials]
The Brevik cement plant in Norway [© Heidelberg Materials]

Heidelberg Materials’ plant in Brevik, Norway is setting up a carbon capture and storage system, which entitles it to label the cement produced there as net zero carbon.

And by extension, apparently, it can therefore call all of its cement net-zero, wherever it is made in Europe.

According to Heidelberg, it is the world’s first carbon captured net-zero cement.

Only customers in Norway will be able to buy the product actually made in Brevik – EvoZero Carbon Captured Brevik.

But thanks to some clever accounting and blockchain technology, other Heidelberg plants (Hanson in the UK, until recently) will be able to call their cement EvoZero Carbon Captured (presumably for customers willing to pay extra for a net zero badge).

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EvoZero Carbon Captured will not actually be carbon neutral; it will be exactly the same chemical composition as the other stuff, Heidelberg readily admits but it has worked out a way round this. So they can say it is. The entire product range, from CEM-I to CEM-III, will therefore be available as EvoZero.

Its publicity material states: “For both products, the carbon capture attributes are transparent and traceable by harnessing the power of blockchain technology through which Heidelberg Materials’ customers will receive a verifiable carbon proof for their EvoZero purchase. Leveraging the use of well-established principles such as mass-balancing and book-and-claim, the carbon capture and emission accounting mechanisms have been independently reviewed by a third-party verifier.”

Dominik von Achten, chairman of the managing board of Heidelberg Materials, said: “The launch of our unique EvoZero products is a paradigm shift in the decarbonisation of our sector. Carbon capture and storage is a breakthrough technology for the building materials industry and we are frontrunners in deploying it at scale. With EvoZero, we are offering the industry’s most innovative, globally unique product for our customers, enabling them to drive cutting-edge, environmentally friendly construction projects.”

Chief sustainability officer Nicola Kimm added: “Carbon capture, utilisation, and storage (CCUS) is a prerequisite for our industry to achieve net zero and vital to building the society of the future."

Completion of the Brevik CCS facility is scheduled for the end of 2024. Once operational, 400,000 tonnes of CO₂ per year will be captured and stored, which corresponds to 50% of the plant’s emissions. Heidelberg Materials follows a clear, science-based approach to reduce its carbon footprint through the levers of product and process innovation as well as industrial-scale CCUS.

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