French major TotalEnergies is working with sustainable solutions provider Holcim to fully decarbonise a cement production facility in Belgium using green hydrogen, carbon capture and renewable energy.

The cement plant in Obourg emits about 1.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year.

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

Obourg: study is under way to decarbonise the cement production facility. Photo: 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.”

The French major and Holcim, based in Belgium, will explore various technologies to decarbonise the facility, including an innovative air-oxyfuel switchable kiln to help with the capture and purification of CO2 in fuel gases, and the sequestration and use of captured CO2 for producing e-fuel.

“Cement industry decarbonisation is extremely challenging because of the inevitable CO2 emissions from the process, which puts us firmly in the hard-to-abate sector. He added that carbon capture, utilisation and storage is vital for Obourg to become the first carbon neutral clinker plant in northwest Europe.

TotalEnergies will also assess the development of renewables projects to power a new electrolyser, which would produce the hydrogen needed for e-fuels. The renewable energy would also power Holcim’s new oxyfuel kiln.

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