Holcim Belgique joins Fluxys open-access CO2 transport network project, a key factor in achieving its carbon neutrality objectives
Holcim Group is taking concrete steps to implement its firm commitment to reducing its carbon impact, fully in line with the ambitions of the regions where it operates. In Belgium, the ecological and climate goal is to achieve carbon neutrality by the end of the decade under the Go4Zero programme. One of the pillars in achieving this objective rests on the sequestration and (re)use of CO2.
Holcim Belgium and its Go4Zero programme: the new clinker kiln at Obourg cement works serves the company's operational and environmental ambitions
The first phase of Go4Zero is the construction of a dry process clinker kiln on its historic Obourg site, replacing the two current wet process kilns. The new kiln will not only be the largest in Europe – capable of producing 6,000 tonnes a day – but will feature a unique combustion process in which air is ultimately replaced by oxygen in order to concentrate CO2 in the exhaust gases. This is the first step in the CO2 purification process necessary for its transport and subsequent processing. This is an immense technological and human challenge. When the new clinker kiln is completed by early 2026, unparalleled operational, economic, energy and environmental performance will be achievable thanks to a unique combination of innovations and the best available technologies. The project represents an investment of more than €400 million and will require more than 36 months of work until it is operational. Subsidies could speed up its deployment.
Major innovation in the ability to capture CO2 at Holcim Belgium with a view to its storage and (re)use
Once the new kiln is completely operational, full attention will turn to the processing of CO2: capture, purification, transport and ultimately its (re)use and/or sequestration. While the CO2 chain gradually spreads its wings thanks, for example, to sequestration solutions as well as port-based liquefaction and transshipment facilities, Holcim is developing its oxy-combustion solution by leveraging the existing oxygen production and transport network. It plans to build a cryogenic carbon treatment unit on its Obourg site by early 2028, and to ship purified CO2 via the Fluxys network with a view to its sequestration under the North Sea or its (re)use as a new raw material for the chemical and energy sectors. In so doing, Holcim Belgium is paving the way for creating new ecosystems – a 'Green Valley' – around CO2 chemistry and the circular economy (reduction of limestone consumption, (re)use of alternative fuels and raw materials, recycling of building materials).
A CO2 transport network to help industry decarbonise
"Holcim's interest in our CO2 network project at the Mons industrial cluster confirms the efforts industries are making to find solutions for decarbonising their activities. We're here to meet that need, which is why we offer them an open-access CO2 network they can use to transport their captured CO2 to storage or reuse sites. This kind of network helps achieve climate objectives and contributes to the long-term viability of the economy," explains Fluxys CEO Pascal De Buck.
"Decarbonising the cement industry is extremely difficult due to the CO2 emissions inevitably generated by the manufacturing process. A CCUS (Carbon Capture Utilisation and Sequestration) solution is essential if Obourg is to become the first carbon-neutral cement manufacturer in northwest Europe. We are delighted to be working with Fluxys on CO2 transport so we can accelerate our implementation of the CCUS solutions set out in the Go4Zero programme." By joining the pioneers, we want to set new standards for future clinker manufacturing plants," says Holcim Belgium CEO Bart Daneels.