Cementa wants climate-positive cement for National Transport Plan

Cementa wants climate-positive cement for National Transport Plan
15 June 2022

Cementa has responded to the National Transport Plan of Sweden until 2033, recently announced by  Tomas Eneroth, Minister of Infrastructure, arguing that new infrastructure should be built with climate-positive cement.

Karin ComStedt Webb, VP of HeidelbergCement Sweden, said, “Until now, I believe that we in Sweden have often taken cement and concrete for granted and that it should always be available. But for Sweden to continue to be self-sufficient in our most important building materials in infrastructure investments in the future and for the conversion of Slitefabriken to become a reality by 2030, the will, courage and long-term perspective of all social actors are required.”

Nearly SEK900bn (US$88.3bn) will be invested in railways, roads and ports from north to south to accelerate Sweden's climate change drive. The investments are part of a fundamental basis for a robust and well-functioning society. Common to most of these significant infrastructure investments is that they depend on cement and concrete to become a reality. The Swedish Transport Administration estimates that 400,000tpa of cement are needed in their operations and that figure is expected to rise.

Cementa's investment in climate-positive cement by 2030 and the CCS plant in Slite have the opportunity to further strengthen the climate benefit with the transport plan, argues Ms ComStedt Webb. “We are already seeing a sharp demand from the Swedish construction sector for building materials with a lower carbon dioxide load, and we expect a dramatic increase when the authorities begin to set more aggressive climate requirements for cement in their procurements, commented Ms ComStedt Webb. “In this context, the Swedish Transport Administration is a significant player as one of the largest procurers of construction projects in the country.” 

Much is already being done to reduce CO2 emissions from cement and concrete production with a growing share of biofuels, new cement recipes with a lower share of limestone clinker and an increased focus on optimising and recycling building materials. “But the biggest and most important piece of the puzzle for producing climate-positive cement and concrete is that we succeed in cutting the large process emissions of carbon dioxide with the help of CCS,” added Karin ComStedt Webb.

With more efficient permit processes and decisions for the extensive climate investment to be made on Gotland, both in Cementa's own operations and for the necessary upgrade of the electricity grid, Cementa believes that 2030 is a realistic goal. “And we must have that goal picture, as it is urgent to fully succeed with climate change, while at the same time restoring security of supply and preparedness for one of our most fundamental inputs in society,” added Ms ComStedt Webb.

“Swedish administration must become more efficient and agile in the current landscape. Then my conviction is that we can ensure a robust cement supply, at the same time as an absolute majority of the planned infrastructure projects are procured with climate-positive cement. And, it's only eight years away.”

Published under Cement News