At the BDI Climate Congress 2023, the Chairman of the German Lime Industry Association/BVK and CEO of Lhoist Germany Thomas Perterer spoke about the transformation of the lime industry and the need for carbon capture technologies.
The lime industry faces particular challenges due to its raw material-related unavoidable process emissions, as CO2 is released from limestone in the burning process. “Even a complete switch to renewable energy would only reduce the lime industry’s CO2 emissions by about 30%. Technical solutions for further use or storage must therefore be found for the majority of the CO2. Without carbon capture, there will be no climate-neutral lime or cement production,” Perterer said at the climate congress.
The BVK chairman praised the German government’s work on the carbon management strategy, but at the same time warned: “The government must not lose any time, because the creation of the framework conditions for industrial transformation must not be postponed any further. Every day of procrastination holds up the transformation process. Therefore, political decisions on the transport and export of CO2 are needed this year. We call on the Ministry of Economics and the Ministry of the Environment to clear the way for carbon capture and adapt the necessary regulations in the licensing law.” The background is that carbon capture and storage is de facto prohibited in Germany. On the one hand, current legislation prohibits the storage of CO2 domestically, and the lack of legislation prevents the export of CO2 for storage abroad. This means that companies can capture CO2 on site, but they cannot transport it off their premises for storage in or outside Germany. As long as the status quo is maintained, there will be no reduction in feedstock-related process emissions. After all, this amounts to more than 20 million metric tons of CO2 every year.
Speed is also needed in the development of a CO2 transport network. For this, however, network operators need planning certainty from policy-makers. “CO2 climate protection networks are system-critical and a prerequisite for successful transformation. Just as renewable energies are now rightly in the overriding public interest, the same should apply to CO2 and power grids,” says Thomas Perterer. “It is in society’s interest that our lime companies capture and store the CO2 or make it available for manufacturing products. In addition, carbon capture combined with the use of biogenic energy in lime production can provide much needed negative emissions.”