Through its Carbon Storage Assurance Facility Enterprise (CarbonSAFE) initiative, the U.S. Department of Energy awarded $8.9 million in funding to Heidelberg Materials North America to study the subsurface geology suitable for carbon dioxide storage at its Mitchell, Ind., cement plant.
The award will be issued to the Illinois State Geological Survey at the University of Illinois (ISGS) as the prime contractor, with the company acting as a technical and industrial partner.
Heidelberg Materials is contributing about $1.5 million in funding, while ISGS will provide $600,000 for a project total of $11.1 million. The funding was part of a DOE initiative that generated nearly $125 million for 10 projects to characterize suitability for carbon storage across the United States.
The new Mitchell plant will more than triple its current capacity. It will also incorporate features to minimize energy consumption and enable alternative fuel usage. The proposed project will geologically characterize several prospective reservoirs under the plant for the safe storage of more than 50 million metric tons of CO2 over a 30-year timeframe.
“We are excited to participate in this project and pleased it received the additional federal funding to assess the ability to store carbon at the Mitchell site,” said Chris Ward, president and CEO of Heidelberg Materials North America and member of the managing board.
“We are committed to leading our sector in developing viable carbon capture technology, which we believe is essential to achieving our sustainability goals,” he continued. “We are excited to continue exploring CCUS at our Mitchell facility in anticipation that it could be the first of our cement plants in the U.S. to achieve net zero carbon.”
The Mitchell cement plant is anticipated to begin full production in early 2023.