CCS: an essential technology for the transition to net-zero emissions

CCS: an essential technology for the transition to net-zero emissions

Antoing, March 05 2024 – On Tuesday, the clinker plant in Antoing was the scene of an exceptional event bringing together three major players: Heidelberg Materials, Fluxys and Equinor. By creating a value chain for the capture, transport and sequestration of CO₂ (CCS), these companies are working together to put in place an innovative solution to one of the biggest challenges of our time: climate change.

The meeting provided an opportunity for interaction between representatives of European, national, regional and local authorities in Belgium. It highlighted the essential collaboration between industry players and all the authorities to facilitate the deployment of major projects, whether they are driven by CO₂-emitting industries or by operators of transport and carbon sequestration infrastructures. To enable the decarbonization of industries in North-Western Europe, the industrial sector would like to rapidly put in place a regulatory framework, as well as the financial support of government bodies.

Net-zero emissions at the centre of the energy transition

To achieve net-zero emissions, CCS technology is the solution for industries having to cope with unavoidable CO₂ emissions linked to their chemical manufacturing processes.

In this context, the CO₂ capture project, named Anthemis, which Heidelberg Materials intends to implement at its Antoing site, is crucial. Aligned with the company’s sustainability strategy, it will enable the capture of over 800,000 tons of CO₂ annually starting in 2029, effectively transforming the Antoing factory into a net-zero site.

Anthemis also plays a crucial role in the development of CCS technologies on a wider scale in North-Western Europe. It fits in perfectly with Fluxys' policy of deploying infrastructure in Belgium and the creation of a transport network to sequestration sites in the North Sea, at the joint initiative of Fluxys and Equinor.

Recognition of this value chain opens up a new era, enabling the industrial sector to respond positively to the environmental, social and economic challenges raised by the energy transition and the fight against climate change.

Christoph Streicher, General Manager Heidelberg Materials Benelux: "The building sector plays an eminently important socio-economic role in modern society. As a major player in the market, we want to take the lead on the road to net-zero emissions. It is our responsibility to implement major projects to ensure our sustainability. Anthemis is an ambitious, large-scale industrial project. Its impact is fundamental to our future and significant for the net-zero emissions strategy of Wallonia, Belgium and Europe.
Today's event sets out, in very concrete terms, all the levers that need to be activated in order to support the long-term sustainable vision of the industries. It also highlights the need for ongoing collaboration between the various players to implement them. It is an honor for Heidelberg Materials Benelux to be part of a consortium pioneering a CCS value chain. It reflects our commitment to being a pioneer on the road to net-zero emissions. Personally, I am also very proud of the role we are playing in building a sustainable future.

Pascal De Buck, CEO Fluxys Belgium : "Through Fluxys c-grid, Fluxys aims to provide Belgian industry with a very practical solution, which is essential for cement manufacturers such as Heidelberg Materials, to decarbonize their activities and enable them to transport the captured CO₂ to permanent storage areas such as those operated off the coast of Norway by Equinor.
The Anthemis project is emblematic because it is one of the first to aim for almost total decarbonisation of industrial activity. Thanks to this project in particular, the first significant volumes of CO₂ will make a major contribution to the development of a transport infrastructure and the operation of storage sites that will benefit the hard-to-abate sectors in Belgium and neighbouring countries. The ambition is to be able to combine CO₂ volumes from neighbouring countries, in particular from industry in Germany and France, thereby contributing to the decarbonisation of Europe.

Torbjørg Klara Heskestad, Vice-Président Global CCS solutions Equinor: "The CO₂ Highway Europe pipeline can offer a large-scale solution that can make a significant contribution to reducing the cost of CCS. It is exciting to be developing strategic projects that offer such significant potential for industries in North West Europe that need to reduce their emissions."

From left to right : Torbjørg Klara Heskestad, Vice-Président Global CCS solutions Equinor, Christoph Streicher, General Manager Heidelberg Materials Benelux, Pascal De Buck, CEO Fluxys Belgium