Home » Holcim breaks ground in Belgium for net zero cement plant

Holcim breaks ground in Belgium for net zero cement plant

by Mark Cantrell

The prime minister of Belgium took part in a groundbreaking ceremony to mark the beginning of construction of a state-of-the-art net zero cement factory.

Holcim hosted the event at its GO4ZERO plant in Obourg, Belgium. The new facility is intended to produce two million tonnes of net zero cement a year by 2029.

With a planned investment of over €500 million, it is claimed the GO4ZERO project will put innovation to work to advance Europe’s decarbonisation. The plant’s groundbreaking occasion was held in the presence of Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, and Wopke Hoekstra, European Commissioner for Climate Action.

De Croo said: “Belgium can take great pride in the foundation of Holcim’s new plant in Obourg. This investment symbolises exactly the vision that our country has been pursuing for the past four years: build a future for industry in Europe, with the highest standards in terms of innovation and CO2 objectives. And here, in a crucial field like construction.”

Hoekstra added: “The Innovation Fund drives the deployment of innovative, low-carbon technologies in Europe. With EUR 230 million allocated from the EU Emission Trading System for the GO4ZERO project, we look forward to seeing this example of cutting-edge partnership across the value chain to create a new ecosystem for carbon capture and storage. This is exactly in line with the European Green Deal’s objective to fully mobilize industry to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.”

Miljan Gutovic, chief executive of the Holcim Group, said: “By advancing decarbonisation as a driver of profitable growth, Holcim is on course to make net-zero cement and concrete a reality at scale this decade. GO4ZERO is one of our six large-scale, European Union-supported carbon capture, utilization and storage projects. These aim to capture a total of over five million tonnes of CO2 per annum, enabling us to offer over eight million tonnes of fully decarbonised cement each year across Europe by 2030.”

According to Holcim, the GO4ZERO project transforms cement manufacturing at every stage of the process. Accelerating decarbonised energy use, more than 95% of its energy will be sourced from alternative fuels, while over 30% of its raw mix will come from partly decarbonised alternative raw materials – predominantly waste generated by other industries, thereby advancing circularity.

As a result, it’s claimed the plant will cut CO2 emissions by 30% as early as 2027, and it will also operate Europe’s largest installation of floating solar panels. Holcim is partnering with Air Liquide on the project with EUR 230 million in support from the Innovation Fund, which is financed by revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System.


Read next: West Yorks’ Mayor Brabin announces major net zero partnership

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