Lägerdorf: Groundbreaking ceremony for the CO2-neutral
cement plant

Holcim Germany is building a climate-friendly future

One of the world’s first climate-neutral cement plants is taking shape: Vice Chancellor and Federal Minister of Economics Dr Robert Habeck and the Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein, Daniel Günther, together with Holcim Germany CEO Thorsten Hahn, broke ground on the “Carbon2Business” innovation project in Lägerdorf on 22 April 2024. By 2028, a cement plant will be built there using new technology to capture CO2 on a large industrial scale, in which the greenhouse gas can be almost completely removed from the exhaust air. The CO2 will then be processed for use as a raw material in the industry.

To this end, Holcim Germany is building a new kiln line powered by pure oxygen for burning cement clinker and a CO2 treatment plant at the Lägerdorf plant. With this technology, Holcim and its project partners thyssenkrupp Polysius and Linde Engineering are advancing CO2 capture on an industrial scale and contributing to the development of a CO2 economy in Germany.


Habeck: “Prime example of the green transformation”

Federal Minister Robert Habeck: “The cement industry is facing a particularly big challenge when it comes to decarbonization. Here in Lägerdorf, we are now showing how it can be done: decarbonizing production and boldly implementing climate-neutral production of cement and concrete. The fact that carbon dioxide can not only be captured but also used as a raw material is a prime example of the green transformation.”

“Today we are giving the go-ahead for another innovative German industrial project. The prototype for the decarbonization of the cement industry is being built on an industrial scale in Lägerdorf. This shows once again that the future is climate-neutral. And this future begins here in Schleswig-Holstein, the number one state for the energy transition,” said Daniel Günther, Minister President of Schleswig-Holstein.

“We make cement the foundation of a sustainable world,” says Thorsten Hahn, CEO of Holcim Germany. “Concrete is indispensable for our cities, factories, houses, bridges and much more. And the energy transition also needs to be built - foundations and towers for wind turbines, routes for rails. With the climate-neutral cement plant, we are ensuring that the building material will continue to be available in the future, but will no longer pollute the atmosphere.” CO2 emissions are unavoidable in cement production. The majority of CO2 - around two thirds - is released from the rock itself during the burning process. These emissions cannot be avoided even by using renewable energy to operate the cement kiln. Hahn: “We are creating sustainable prosperity with this pioneering project. By capturing the CO2 and processing it into a valuable raw material, we are protecting the climate and enabling the creation of new value chains.”

In Lägerdorf, Holcim and its project partners thyssenkrupp Polysius and Linde Engineering will construct a second-generation oxyfuel kiln and a carbon purification unit (CPU). The kiln will be operated with pure oxygen instead of ambient air. This produces a process gas rich in CO2, which is then purified and treated in the CPU. In total, Holcim Germany is investing a mid three-digit million euro sum in the climate-neutral cement plant. The EU is funding the project with around € 110 million.

Use of CO2: carbon-based raw materials are important for industry

Carbon is an important raw material for sectors such as the chemical industry and is required for the production of plastics, tires, specialty chemicals and medicines, among other things. Due to climate protection measures and the phase-out of fossil fuels, the industry will need new sources in the future. Captured and processed CO2 (Carbon Capture and Utilization/CCU) can close the gap.

An appropriate infrastructure is required for the successful development of this market. This includes, in particular, pipelines, intermediate storage facilities and transshipment hubs for shipping, but also legal regulations for transportation. Hahn: “Both the German government and the EU are addressing these issues in their carbon management strategies. We are ready as a partner to get the CO2 economy in Germany on track together with politicians.”

Holcim Germany has set itself ambitious decarbonization targets. In addition to the climate-neutral cement plant in Lägerdorf, which will go into operation in 2028, test projects are also currently underway at the other cement plants in Höver (Lower Saxony) and Beckum (North Rhine-Westphalia). These are also to be converted with technologies for capturing and processing CO2.

Further information on the climate-neutral cement plant can be found at www.carbon2business.de.



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