Cement Market Briefs – July/August 2023

  • Holcim US is installing a 25-MW solar array at its cement plant in Alpena, Mich., which will help the facility self-generate 75% of its electric power needs with green energy. “The solar project on 100 acres of Holcim’s Alpena property is another powerful example of the investment we are willing to make to address sustainability with urgency,” said Atl Martinez, vice president, procurement at Holcim. “With new initiatives launching across the U.S., Holcim’s momentum to transform our operations, lower our carbon footprint and reach net-zero has never been greater.” NorthStar Clean Energy will implement the solar solution, which is anticipated to reduce the plant’s CO2 emissions by 25,000 tons annually and produce more than 30% of its current energy demand. Holcim is expected to receive 35,000 MWh of clean power from the project per year under a Solar Equipment Service Contract with a minimum term of 20 years. Construction of the system will begin this year with commercial operations expected to begin in late 2024.

  • The Ash Grove cement plant in Foreman, Ark., will receive funding from the U.S. Department of Energy for a $15.2 million front-end engineering design (FEED) study to implement an integrated carbon capture and storage (CCS) system at the facility. The project is one of eight selected by the government agency to receive funds through its Carbon Capture Demonstrations Projects Program that seeks to accelerate the use of CSS technologies across the nation. A project team, led by Southern States Energy Board, will execute and complete the 24-month study at the Foreman plant. Air Liquide, Environmental Resource Management, and Sargent & Lundy will participate in the project as vendors, while Talos will join as an industry stakeholder. Ash Grove Cement, a CRH Company, is committed to reducing its emissions and improving the plant’s sustainability performance. It is an active promoter of the circular economy and has ambitious 2030 carbon reduction targets in place. 

  • Votorantim Cimentos signed a $150 million financing agreement linked to sustainability indicators with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets and a member of the World Bank Group. “The cement industry is a fundamental part of the future development and urbanization of developing countries and, therefore, essential for sustainable economic growth. Investment in Votorantim Cimentos represents an important steppingstone in the process of improving greener supply capacity in the cement sector, paving the way to attracting more investment,” said IFC Country Manager, Brazil Carlos Leiria Pinto.

  • OneStone Consulting, a management consulting firm with global reach, is joining the World Cement Association (WCA) as an associate corporate member. Recognizing the importance of environmental responsibility, OneStone guides cement companies toward implementing sustainable practices and advancing circular economy initiatives that reduce carbon footprints and promote growth and improved profitability. “OneStone Consulting’s wide-ranging expertise will be valuable to WCA’s members as they meet the challenges brought about by the multiple global crises,” said Ian Riley, WCA chief executive. “OneStone’s expertise in market intelligence, strategic consulting, and sustainability aligns with WCA’s mission to drive sustainable development in the cement industry.”

  • CEMEX recently received Wildlife Habitat Council certification for 10 environmental conservation programs, bringing the company’s global count of WHC-certified programs to 32. The recognitions, unveiled during the 2023 WHC Conservation Conference in Baltimore, Md., exemplify the company’s steadfast commitment to biodiversity conservation, a key aspect of its Future in Action program.

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