HeidelbergCement, the world-leading manufacturer of building materials, has announced plans to upgrade its facility in Slite, Sweden using carbon capture technology to become the world’s first carbon-neutral cement plant by 2030.

Located on the Swedish island of Gotland, the Slite plant of HeidelbergCement’s subsidiary Cementa will be scaled to capture up to 1.8 million tonnes of CO2 annually, corresponding to the plant’s total emissions. The use of bio-based fuels in cement production at the plant will also be increased in line with the Group’s commitment to significantly raise the share of biomass in the fuel mix. The captured CO2 will be safely transported to a permanent storage site offshore several kilometres down in bedrock.

Currently, the Slite plant accounts for three per cent of all CO2 emissions in Sweden. With 75 percent of the cement used for concrete production in Sweden produced at the Slite facility, this breakthrough project will also support the country’s ambitious carbon emission reduction goals.

“HeidelbergCement will be the leader in the global cement industry on its transformation path towards climate neutrality,” HeidelbergCement managing board chairman Dr Dominik von Achten said.

“Key for decarbonising our industry is to find, apply and scale technical solutions for carbon capture and utilisation or storage. After having gained valuable experience with CCU/S technologies in Norway and other countries, we are now excited to make the next step with a completely carbon-neutral cement plant in Sweden. This will be a game changer for our industry.”

HeidelbergCement’s carbon neutral cement plant will be built next to the existing facility in Slite. While the authorisation processes and construction are estimated to take about ten years, the Group has already launched a feasibility study to address critical issues related to technology selection, environmental impact, legal issues, financing, logistics, and energy supply.

HeidelbergCement is currently building the world’s first full-scale carbon capture installation at their Brevik cement plant in Norway. This project is expected to capture 400,000 tonnes annually or 50% of the plant’s emissions from 2024 onwards.

According to Giv Brantenberg, general manager of HeidelbergCement Northern Europe, the carbon capture installation in Sweden will be four times larger than the Brevik site. The Slite upgrade plans will benefit significantly from the experience gained at Brevik.