The notoriously hard-to-abate lime industry in France’s Dunkirk area is set to undergo a decarbonisation drive following a deal signed between Air Liquide and lime producer Lhoist, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at France’s largest lime production plant located in the Hauts-de-France region by more than 600,000 tonnes per year.

A Memorandum of Understanding between the two companies will see the industrial gas giant provide its Cryocap carbon capture technology to capture and purify 95% of the CO2 emitted from Lhoist’s existing lime production unit in Réty, marking the first instance of its use to decarbonise lime production in France. 

Once captured, the gas will be transported to a multimodal CO2 export hub currently under development in the area, before being permanently stored in the North Sea as part of the D’Artagnan project. 

Admitting that decarbonisation of industry is ‘at the heart’ of its company strategy, Pascal Vinet, Senior Vice President, member of the Air Liquide Executive Committee, supervising Europe Industries, added, “Our partnership with Lhoist will contribute to the decarbonisation of the broader Dunkirk industrial basin, one of Air Liquide’s historical industrial basins in France.” 

To help fund the project, both companies have jointly applied for the European Innovation Fund large scale call – under which carbon capture has seen massive investment. 

“Carbon capture and storage is an indispensable part of how the lime industry addresses the reduction of its CO2 footprint for the benefit of the environment and its customers,” commented Cedric De Vicq, CEO Europe, Lhoist.