A joint venture (JV) agreement between three partners will help capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted during cement production before being used in local greenhouses to improve crop productivity.

Cement company LafargeHolcim Spain and energy companies Carbon Clean and Sistemas de Calor will work together to develop a CO2 capture plant in the Carboneras cement factory (Almeria), scheduled for early 2023, which will initially capture 10% of the emissions at LafargeHolcim’s cement production facility. 

The project, known as ECCO2 has been in early-stage development since the end of 2020 and is anticipated to begin operations in early 2023. 

Intended as a form of carbon capture and utilisation (CCU), the captured gas will be used to optimise the agriculture industry in the region by improving crop productivity in greenhouses through a process that mimics natural photosynthesis called carbonic fertilisation. 

This process allows the reduction of the proportion of water and soil per kg of vegetable production, increasing the eco-efficiency. 

The project will create a circular carbon economy, a concept that has been utilised by companies throughout Europe to help decarbonise the production process in addition to harnessing the captured energy for further production. 

Isidoro Miranda, CEO, LafargeHolcim Spain, said, “This circular economy business model, which will initially start with the capture of 10% of CO2 emissions, will become an important milestone in our roadmap towards decarbonsiation of the construction materials sector.” 

Each partner in the venture is anticipated to contribute through its main area of expertise, with Carbon Clean taking the helm for providing the carbon capture technology, LafargeHolcim with its experience producing cement, and Sistemas de Calor providing extra technological solutions. 

Expressing his delight at announcing the JV, Aniruddha Sharma, CEO, Carbon Clean called the strategic relationship with LafargeHolcim Spain a ‘milestone’. 

The ECCO2 project aligns itself with the criteria of the Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan and will be eligible for European NEXT Generation funds.