The cement sector is characterized by a high degree of innovation in introducing solutions conducive to reducing the negative impact on the environment. The drive towards decarbonization means that innovative technologies must be sought and implemented. Lafarge has undertaken global scale venture and will create an infrastructure capable of absorbing 1 million tons of carbon dioxide per year from cement production.
Kujawy Go4ECOPlanet is a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project. The Lafarge-owned Kujawy Cement Plant will build infrastructure to capture carbon dioxide from the outlet gases of the clinker kiln, the main ingredient in cement production. It will capture 100% of the CO2 emissions generated from clinker production. This will also enable the plant to produce cement with very low emissions. The installation will be based on Air Liquide's Cryocap™ FG technology. It has been tested for more than 5 years at the Air Liquide facility of France, while the company's solutions are used in many countries on an industrial scale. Over 10 years, more than ten million tons of CO2 will be captured, representing 10% of Poland’s annual emissions of the entire cement sector. As a result, Kujawy Cement Plant will become one of the first net zero-emission cement plants in Europe.
Noteworthy, the application of capture on an industrial scale will allow the technology to be replicated in other cement plants and industries in Europe. The next step is to create a full carbon capture and storage chain. Captured carbon dioxide will be transported by rail to a transshipment point in a seaport and delivered by ship to the North Sea. Permanent storage will take place in specially designated depleted caverns from gas and oil fields. This will be made possible through cooperation with other partners with expertise and experience in liquefaction, transport, and storage of gases, and is part of a separate project in a consortium that also includes Lafarge in Poland.
The Kujawy Go4ECOPlanet project is one of the most essential elements of Lafarge's sustainable development strategy in Poland and the Holcim Group. It helps achieve the goals of the European Green Deal in accordance with legislation aimed at achieving climate neutrality by 2050.
On January 19, 2023, in Brussels, Lafarge and Innovation Found signed an agreement for funding the project. The cost of the Kujawy Go4ECOPlanet project for 10 years is 380 million euros. EU funding is €228 million. The installation is scheduled to be commissioned in January 2027.
Lafarge has already been making several investments in modernizing the production of building materials that reduce CO2 emissions. All these measures, combined with CO2 capture, will result in a significant reduction in the carbon footprint of concrete and the construction sector, which will slowly create truly green buildings and other infrastructure facilities.
Innovative technologies such as CO2 capture and storage are essential to promote industrial decarbonization in Poland and Europe. CCS investments such as Kujawy Go4ECOPlanet, in addition to fulfilling their main objective of improving the environment, can also become a driving force for the economy. There are studies indicating that the CCS sector can globally generate around 50,000 jobs in total. With projects like Kujawy Go4ECOPlanet, Poland can take a leadership position in this field.
The first zero-emission cement plant in Europe is to be built in 2027 in Poland, in the Kujawy region. Lafarge is in the process of implementing the GO4ECOPLANET project, under which 100 percent of the carbon dioxide produced by Cementownia Kujawy will be captured.