Edmonton’s Lehigh Cement Plant is developing North America’s first full-scale carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) solution for the cement industry with the goal of capturing around 780,000 tonnes of CO2 annually.
Currently, the cement industry contributes as much as eight per cent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The global demand for cement is expected to increase 23 per cent by 2050. If this technology reaches commercial deployment, it could accelerate adoption across the industry globally.
Lehigh’s parent company, HeidelbergCement, is collaborating with Enbridge on a carbon capture, transport, and storage solution. The two companies signed an agreement with the Federal Government to support the proposed $1.4 billion project in April of 2023.
“This is a great milestone in our journey to produce the world’s first net-zero cement,” said Oliver Patsch, president of the Northwest Region for Heidelberg Materials North America. “This pioneering initiative places the City of Edmonton at the epicentre of the cement industry’s decarbonization efforts.”
In 2019, ERA committed $1.4 million to Lehigh to conduct a feasibility study to assess the technical and economic viability of the technology. The study concluded that the proposed solution could capture 95 per cent of the CO2 emissions from the cement plant.
Edmonton is one of several cement plants throughout the world where HeidelbergCement is deploying and scaling up different technologies and solutions to substantially reduce emissions. The company is targeting CO2 reductions of up to 10 million tonnes by 2030 with several CCUS projects underway.
Captured CO2 emissions from the Lehigh Cement Plant will be transported by pipeline and permanently sequestered by Enbridge at its Open Access Wabamun Carbon Hub. It will be among the largest integrated CCUS projects in the world, with a combined capture potential of nearly 4 million tonnes of CO2 emissions per year. The hub will support the decarbonization of multiple industries, including power generation, oil and gas, and cement and could be in service as early as 2025.
“This collaboration demonstrates our focus on local, cost-effective, customer-focused carbon transportation and storage solutions that drive scale and competitiveness while minimizing infrastructure footprint to protect land, water, and the environment,” said Colin Gruending, Executive Vice President and President, Liquids Pipelines, Enbridge.