Australian technology company Calix has received a €15m investment into its carbon capture focused subsidiary LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement) Group.

The investment was made by decarbonisation investor Carbon Direct Capital Management (Carbon Direct) in return for a 6.98% equity stake in Calix’s LEILAC Group.

The LEILAC Group will use the investment to advance both the technical and commercial availability of its carbon capture technology, including accelerating its optimisation and project development solutions for customers.

With the pilot project at HeidelbergCement’s plant in Lixhe, Belgium, capturing 25,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year, scaling up of the technology has already occurred. The LEILAC-2 project based in Hannover, Germany, also for HeidelbergCement, will see 100,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) being captured per year.

Commenting on the target to achieve 2030 climate goals, Phil Hodgson, CEO, Calix, said, “The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was unequivocal in saying that to reach the stated 2030 goals on climate change, CO2 emissions have to be reduced.”

The LEILAC plant.

The LEILAC plant.

Source: Calix.

He added that LEILAC technology is an option that is being deployed now to meet this urgent need.

In addition to working with clients such as HeidelbergCement, Cemex, Lhoist and Solvay, the onboarding of Carbon Direct could be perceived as a vote of confidence in Calix’s decarbonising technology.

Stating a desire to hasten carbon capture deployment, Hodgson continued, “The investment will assist us in accelerating the deployment of the technology into the carbon capture and storage (CCS) landscape.”

In addition to the investment helping to accelerate the deployment of Calix’s decarbonisation technology, Hodgson said that the deal represented a ‘critical milestone’ in the company’s strategy of seeking equity ‘farm-in’s’ after initial development of specific technologies.

The LEILAC technology works by using a patented kiln design to separate CO2 emissions resulting from the calcination (heating) of limestone during cement production. The separated CO2 emissions can then be captured.

Such technologies are being promoted by international organisations to meet United Nations (UN) climate goals, primarily the achievement of net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

As cement production accounts for up to 8% of global CO2 emissions, decarbonisation of production processes is seen as an essential part of industry meeting its climate targets. This is evidenced by LEILAC-2 being funded by the EU Horizon 2020 scheme for €34m

Large-scale investment schemes will be necessary as 2050 draws closer. Jonathan Goldberg, CEO, Carbon Direct, said that Carbon Direct invested in companies that could deliver both commercially viable solutions and solve big climate problems.

LEILAC-2 is set to begin production late 2023/early 2024.

Carbon Direct will host an investor webinar to discuss the milestone, details are available here.