Lafarge Zementwerke, a member of LafargeHolcim Group, OMV, utility company Verbund and Borealis have launched plans for a joint project aimed at advancing the transformation towards a Zero CO2 economy in Europe.
The companies have co-signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which they agree to collaborate across industry sectors in a project called ‘Carbon2ProductAustria’ - or C2PAT, for short.
The idea is to establish CO2 as a valuable raw material through the creation of a cross-sectorial value chain. Green hydrogen will be used to recycle the captured greenhouse gas.
The project involves planning and constructing in three phases a full-scale plant by 2030 to capture CO2 emitted during the cement production process, for utilization in the production of synthetic fuels, plastics or other chemicals. The facility would eventually capture almost 100% of the annually emitted 700,000 tons of CO2 at Lafarge’s cement plant in Mannersdorf, Austria.
Phase 1 consists of the evaluation and development by the partners of a joint strategy for the project development, business modelling and process engineering. Based on the results of phase 1, phase 2 would see a cluster of industrial pilot plants in the eastern part of Austria being technically developed and realised until 2023. In Phase 3, the operations would be fully scaled up for the capture and use of 700,000 tons of CO2.
"Ultimately, CO2-neutral cement production can only be possible with the implementation of breakthrough technologies, like Carbon Capture, which is why we have great expectations for the C2PAT project", said Lafarge CEO José Antonio Primo.
Fueled by green hydrogen - from renewable energies- produced by Verbund, the captured CO2 will be transformed by OMV into renewable based hydrocarbons.
“Green hydrogen is produced when water is electrolyzed using electricity from renewable sources. For the Carbon2ProductAustria-Project we will use green electricity from our renewable generation portfolio,” explained Michael Strugl, Deputy CEO of Verbund.
The hydrocarbons produced by OMV will be used to produce renewably- based fuels or be utilized by Borealis as a feedstock for the production of renewably-based, value-add plastics. If these plastics are subsequently recycled at the end of life, a nearly closed CO2 loop is created. As OMV chairman of the executive board and CEO noted, CO2 is not just a ‘greenhouse gas that we have to reduce. It is also a valuable raw material from which we can produce synthetic fuels and feedstock for the chemical industry’.
It is an ambitious undertaking, concede Lafarge, OMV, Verbund and Borealis, whose aim is to jointly establish an innovative and viable solution for the transformation towards a Zero CO2 economy in Europe.
However, the success of C2PAT will largely depend on whether the right financial and regulatory framework conditions are created, both at the EU and Austrian national level.
Seele: “Climate protection requires innovation and cooperation. With this project we aim to do both, and it shows that economic viability and climate protection go hand in hand based on new technologies.
Borealis, which has identified the circular economy of polyolefins as a material issue and one of the three focus areas in its sustainability strategy.
“The plastics industry can be a powerful contributor to climate action, through materials replacement that reduces weight, by minimising food waste and by shifting to well-designed circularity that reduces CO2 emissions,” said Borealis CEO Alfred Stern. “We are excited to join forces with our industry partners on our mission to drive the change towards a Zero CO2 industry.”