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Holcim breaks ground at GO4ZERO plant in Belgium

Schematic rendering of the GO4ZERO plant in Obourg, Belgium
Schematic rendering of the GO4ZERO plant in Obourg, Belgium

Holcim has hosted the ground-breaking ceremony at its state-of-the-art GO4ZERO plant in Obourg, Belgium, which is engineered to produce 2 million tonnes of net-zero cement per annum by 2029.

With a planned investment of more than €500 million, the GO4ZERO project will put innovation to work to advance Europe’s decarbonisation. The plant’s ground-breaking was held in the presence of Alexander De Croo, Prime Minister of Belgium, and Wopke Hoekstra, European Commissioner for Climate Action.

Mr De Croo said: “Belgium can take great pride in the foundation of Holcim’s new plant in Obourg. This investment symbolises exactly the vision that our country has been pursuing for the past four years: build a future for industry in Europe, with the highest standards in terms of innovation and CO2 objectives. And here, in a crucial field like construction.”

Mr Hoekstra commented: “The Innovation Fund drives the deployment of innovative, low-carbon technologies in Europe. With €230 million allocated from the EU Emission Trading System for the GO4ZERO project, we look forward to seeing this example of cutting-edge partnership across the value chain to create a new ecosystem for carbon capture and storage. This is exactly in line with the European Green Deal’s objective to fully mobilise industry to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.”

Miljan Gutovic, chief executive officer of the Holcim Group, said: “By advancing decarbonisation as a driver of profitable growth, Holcim is on course to make net-zero cement and concrete a reality at scale this decade. GO4ZERO is one of our six large-scale, EU-supported carbon capture, utilisation and storage projects. These aim to capture a total of over 5 million tonnes of CO2 per annum, enabling us to offer more than 8 million tonnes of fully decarbonised cement each year across Europe by 2030.”

The GO4ZERO project transforms cement manufacturing at every stage of the process. Accelerating decarbonised energy use, more than 95% of its energy will be sourced from alternative fuels, whilst over 30% of its raw mix will come from partly decarbonised alternative raw materials – predominantly waste generated by other industries, thereby advancing circularity.

As a result, the plant will cut CO2 emissions by 30% as early as 2027, and will also operate Europe’s largest installation of floating solar panels. Holcim is partnering with Air Liquide on the project with €230 million in support from the Innovation Fund, which is financed by revenues from the EU Emissions Trading System.