UK moves towards net zero cement manufacture

Cement giant Hanson’s plans for the UK’s first net zero cement works have moved a step closer after an agreement was reached with the government.

The firm’s Padeswood cement works in Flintshire, Wales has been shortlisted for funding as part of the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s (BEIS) Phase 2 Carbon Capture and Storage Cluster Sequencing process.

It said the announcement is “another step towards installing carbon capture technology at the site and establishing the UK’s first net zero cement works as part of the HyNet decarbonisation cluster”.

In October 2021 HyNet and East Coast Clusters were selected as the Track 1 CCUS clusters and BEIS has now selected 20 projects from these clusters to proceed to the due diligence stage of the Phase 2 process.

Hanson added if Padeswood is selected for funding, it would set the UK construction industry on a path to achieving the government’s binding net zero targets by capturing and storing 800,000 tonnes of CO2 each year and will enable Hanson to produce net zero carbon cement as early as 2027. It would also secure 222 jobs, create 54 new highly skilled full-time roles and up to 350 jobs during construction.

CEO Simon Willis said: “We are delighted to have made the shortlist for the next phase of government funding, but there is still a way to go before we can realise our ambition for CCS at Padeswood.”

“Government funding is essential and would give us the confidence to invest in a carbon capture plant which would help secure a sustainable future for the UK cement industry and be a huge leap forward in the construction industry’s decarbonisation plans.”

“Cement is a key component of concrete and an essential construction material with no viable alternative but is carbon intensive to make,” the company added. “As a result, the only way to produce the cement the UK needs without emitting large amounts of carbon, is to capture and store emissions.”

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