Cement factories in Wallonia receive decarbonisation funding boost

Cement factories in Wallonia receive decarbonisation funding boost
14 December 2023

Holcim, CBR and Compagnie des Ciments Belges (CBB) are among five industrial companies based in the Wallonia region of Belgium to receive a EUR346m finance package to halve their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Half of the financial package is being publicly financed by Wallonia and Europe.

The cement producers will have assistance in halving their CO2 emissions, along with steel makers Industeel and Aperam. The five heavy-industry manufacturers are among the largest GHG emitters in the Wallonia region, with a volume of 2.415Mta of CO2, claims L’Echo. 

The Walloon public authorities have included these five industrialists in a large call for projects with a total envelope of EUR169m of public money coming from Wallonia (60 per cent) and the Europe (40 per cent), through the Just Transition Fund (FTJ) , to support their investments in new less polluting manufacturing tools or processes.

The Minister of the Economy, Willy Borsus, also underlines the important role that these large industrialists must play if Wallonia wants to achieve carbon neutrality in 2050. "It is important to support the transition of large, high-intensity companies of greenhouse gas emissions. This is why Wallonia is embarking on this project aimed at modifying the industrial processes of companies established in Wallonia. Here we are aiming for an overall reduction of 49 per cent in emissions to reach 1181Mt of CO2. Furthermore, it is a win-win operation since not only will these companies see part of their processes decarbonised, but in addition, employment within them should increase by more than six per cent. We expect the creation of 167 jobs.

“Our objective is to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the cement manufacturing process to zero and to achieve the use of 40 per cent green energy,” explains Eddy Fostier, general director of CCB.

CCB's plans include replacing coal with natural gas in a first phase, then with biogas when it becomes available on the Fluxys network. It is also a question of recovering waste heat from the kiln and coolers to produce 6.4MW of electricity. Eight wind turbines will also be installed on the site. CCB wants to reduce the use of fossil fuels in the cement manufacturing process to zero.   

At Holcim, the switch will involve the construction of a new factory in Mons and the operation of a limestone quarry in Tournai. “These are colossal investments, but which must allow us to maintain a high-performance tool in western Europe. Today, the process is simply too energy-intensive to maintain a competitive position and meet environmental requirements,” explains Vincent Michel, project manager at Holcim.

By integrating all their projects, beyond those submitted as part of the European call, Holcim is talking about a total investment of EUR535m.

Published under Cement News