TotalEnergies, Holcim Join Forces to Study Solutions for Decarbonizing Heavy Industry

October 17, 2022 by Dan McCue
TotalEnergies, Holcim Join Forces to Study Solutions for Decarbonizing Heavy Industry

PARIS — French energy multinational TotalEnergies and Belgium-based building materials manufacturer Holcim are collaborating on the full decarbonization of a cement production facility in Obourg, Belgium.

The project will see the two companies assess a wide array of solutions and technologies intended to decarbonize facilities engaged in heavy industry through efficient carbon capture, utilization and sequestration.

Holcim hopes to eventually have the Obourg cement plant capture 1.3 million metric tons of CO2 emitted by the facility every year.

“Cement industry decarbonization is extremely challenging because of the process’ inevitable CO2 emissions, which put us firmly in the hard-to-abate sector,” said Bart Daneels, CEO of Holcim, Belgium.

“By joining the first movers, we want to set the standards for future clinker manufacturing plants,” Daneels said. 

Each partner will contribute its best-in-class technologies and its know-how to explore and develop the project, including an innovative new air-oxyfuel switchable kiln, to facilitate the capture and purification of CO2 in the flue gasses.

At the same time, the companies will look at transportation and use of the captured CO2 by TotalEnergies for an innovative e-fuel producing scheme and/or deposit in geological storage in the North Sea.

TotalEnergies will assess the development of renewable projects to power a new electrolyzer, which would generate the green hydrogen needed to produce e-fuels. 

This new renewable energy production capacity would also power Holcim’s new oxyfuel kiln, thus contributing to the decarbonization of the cement plant. Finally, the oxygen emitted by the electrolyzer would be used to fuel the new kiln.

“The unique, integrated and sustainable solution that we are looking to provide to Holcim for the full decarbonization of its cement plant emissions— with its range of technologies and new decarbonized molecules — is a first, marking a milestone in the decarbonization of heavy industry and its hard-to-abate emissions,” said Christophe Sassolas, senior vice president of OneB2B Solutions at TotalEnergies.

“TotalEnergies is looking forward to deploying other integrated solutions like this one elsewhere, as we move toward reducing our scope 3 emissions, in line with our climate ambition to get to net zero emissions by 2050, together with society,” Sassolas said.

Dan can be reached at [email protected] and at https://twitter.com/DanMcCue.

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