Cembureau, the European Cement Association, warns the European cement industry that it may face a ‘very tough reduction of CO2 emissions’ as a result of the new benchmarking decision for free allocation agreed last December by the European Commission Climate Change Committee. The decision, which still has to undergo parliamentary scrutiny in the first quarter of 2011, agreed an EU-wide clinker benchmark of 766kg CO2/t of grey clinker and an EU-wide benchmark of 987kg CO2/t of white clinker.
The new benchmark is based on the average CO2 emitted by the 10% best performing installations in 2007-08, which Cembureau observes were driven by higher than average access to biomass in those years. Compared to the actual average emissions of the industry as a whole in the EU, the association estimates an 11% reduction will be required from 2013 onwards. However, if account is taken of process emissions (some 60% of the total CO2 emissions of clinker production), which by definition cannot be reduced, then a reduction of 30% of combustion-related CO2 will in fact be required. This objective, it argues, “lies beyond what can be achieved through existing technology unless, of course, an unlikely larger use of biomass is obtained. The challenge is accepted, but it should not be underrated.”