Posted: Wed 7th Feb 2024

Padeswood: UK’s first net-zero cement works moves step closer

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Feb 7th, 2024

Flintshire is poised to lead the UK towards a more sustainable future with the signing of a contract for the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) of the UK’s first carbon capture plant dedicated to abating emissions from cement production.

The initiative, taking root at Heidelberg Materials’ Padeswood Cement Works, aims to revolutionise the sector by deploying cutting-edge technology designed by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI) in collaboration with engineering firm Worley.

The facility, expected to be operational by 2028, aims to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of cement manufacturing by capturing flue gas emissions and securely storing them beneath Liverpool Bay.

This ambitious project is part of a wider effort to address the inherent challenges of decarbonising the cement industry, known for its substantial CO2 emissions.

Kenji Terasawa, CEO and head of Engineering Solutions at MHI, underscores the significance of the venture: “The cement industry is ‘hard to abate’, because CO2 emissions cannot be avoided in the production process.”

He adds, “Heidelberg Materials UK has committed to reaching net zero carbon by 2050 and will be deploying our proprietary carbon capture technology to tackle this challenge – leading the way in the UK’s cement industry.”

The collaboration between Heidelberg Materials UK and MHI, enhanced by Worley’s engineering expertise, marks a critical phase in the project’s development.

The Front End Engineering Design (FEED) contract is a vital step towards securing UK government approval, finalising investment decisions, and initiating the Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) stage by the first quarter of 2025.

Simon Willis, CEO of Heidelberg Materials UK, highlights the project’s broader implications: “This is a decisive next step in our plans to install carbon capture technology at our Padeswood cement works. Once operational, it will provide net-zero building materials for major projects across the country, enabling us to help decarbonise the construction industry and meet our ambition to become a net-zero business.”

The Padeswood carbon capture and storage (CCS) project is a key component of the HyNet industrial cluster, a pioneering initiative in the North West of the UK aimed at accelerating industrial decarbonisation.

By capturing and storing up to 800,000 tons of CO2 annually, the project not only contributes to reducing the environmental impact of cement production but also supports the creation of low-carbon hydrogen, furthering the decarbonisation of the region’s heavy industry.

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