DOE Advances Heidelberg Materials’ $1B Carbon Capture Project

Heidelberg Materials North America CEO Chris Ward frames the potential DOE commitment and CCUS project realization in cement industry future terms. Joining him in the Industrial Demonstrations Program award negotiation announcement are, from left, Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb, DOE Under Secretary for Infrastructure David Crane, Mitchell Plant Manager Tracy Crowther, and United Steel Workers Local 7-00030 President Douglas Duncan. Photo: Heidelberg Materials.

U.S. Department of Energy Under Secretary for Infrastructure David Crane announced his agency’s plan to negotiate an award up to $500 million to help fund a full-scale carbon dioxide capture, transport and storage facility at Heidelberg Materials’ recently upgraded Mitchell, Ind., cement plant. He outlined the prospective award during a March 25 gathering of 100-plus at the 2.4-million-mtpy capacity operation. The event was attended by Don Marsh of Concrete Products/Cement Products.

Heidelberg Materials North America management and technical staff will negotiate with DOE Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations (OCED) staff toward a final award decision by year-end. The producer will provide additional feasibility, performance and construction timeline insights for a facility engineered to capture, treat and prepare for storage or use approximately 2 million tons of annual Mitchell plant CO2 output.

Treatment infrastructure would be built in close proximity to the plant’s kiln exhaust points and capable of separating CO2 from other flue compounds. Preliminary Illinois State Geological Survey and Indiana Geological & Water Survey studies indicate strong potential for safe, permanent storage of highly purified CO2 in a saline reservoir 7,000 ft. below the 3,000-acre Mitchell plant footprint.

“Substantial federal funding will help create the first full-scale deployment of carbon capture and storage (CCUS) on a cement plant in the U.S.,” said Heidelberg Materials North America CEO Chris Ward, whose company has budgeted just over $500 million to more than match a DOE project commitment. “We are investing in leading the development and application of CCUS in our industry, and successful implementation of this technology at scale will play a critical role in achieving our goal of decarbonization.”

The proposed Mitchell CCUS facility is one of the OCED Industrial Demonstrations Program’s six Cement and Concrete projects. They account for $1.2 billion of the $6 billion that DOE has bundled from Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and Inflation Reduction Act funds. Along with Cement and Concrete in the program are other sectors identified as holding significant opportunities for CO2 emissions reduction: Chemicals and Refining, Iron and Steel, Aluminum and Metals, Food and Beverage, Glass, Process Heat and Pulp and Paper. Those seven sectors will see up to $4.8 billion awarded to 27 projects.

“Spurring on the next generation of decarbonization technologies in key industries will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth,” DOE Secretary Jennifer M. Granholm noted in a statement on the OCED Industrial Demonstrations Program award negotiations announcement. “These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonize sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.”

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