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Cementa and Vattenfall launch CemZero

Cementa and Vattenfall have announced the start of CemZero, a joint pilot study into electrified cement production with the objective of zero carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 2030. If achieved this is equivalent to a 5 percent reduction of Sweden's total CO2 emissions.

The Slite cement plant on the island of Gotland produces 2.5 million tonnes of cement products per annum. The plant has currently replaced around 40 percent of coal previously used as fuel with refuse derived fuel (RDF) and waste wood supplying excess heat to district heating and power to the grid (photo courtesy Cementa).

The Swedish state-owned energy major Vattenfall AB and cement producer Cementa AB, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Germany-headed HeidelbergCement AG have announced the launch of a CemZero, a collaborative project that will use pilot studies into electrified cement production supplied by a climate smart Swedish energy system.

It is very positive that we are working together with Cementa to find a solution, as a climate-smart, electrified cement industry can make an important contribution to our joint efforts to reduce climate impact, said Magnus Hall, President and CEO at Vattenfall.

Decades of work on energy efficiency improvements and phasing out fossil fuels in cement production at its three production facilities in Sweden has enabled Cementa to successively reduce its climate impact.

According to Cementa, its climate impact is low in a global comparison – about 15 percent lower than the global average. Despite this, carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are still the industry’s major sustainability challenge and achieving Cementa’s vision of zero CO2 emissions from cement products during their life-cycle demands a technological shift.

Electrification within the industry is an important element in the transition to sustainable urban development. We are now going to develop knowledge within the field in order to ascertain together with Vattenfall whether it is a potential future solution for cement production, said Jan Gånge, CEO of Cementa.

In the CemZero project, Cementa and Vattenfall will use pilot studies to investigate the conditions for a climate-smart and sustainable cement production process in Sweden.

As concrete is the world’s most common building material, demand for cement will remain high. Population growth in combination with ever more people wanting to live more densely in cities means that concrete will also remain a very important building material in the future.

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