Plans announced for UK’s first net zero cement plant

It will be based in North Wales, with hope of becoming operational by 2027

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Hanson UK, part of the HeidelbergCement Group, has announced plans to build the UK’s first net zero cement plant.

Set to be constructed in North Wales, the facility will look to capture around 800,000 tonnes of carbon each year from the cement plant thanks to a £400 million upgrade to carbon-capture technology.

It is looking to use a low carbon cement called ground-granulated blast-furnace slag (GGBS), which it states can cut carbon emissions by up to 90%. The remaining 10% would be removed through other measures.

The project does not require much additional infrastructure due to its proximity to the HyNet pipeline, which connects the gas fields off the Liverpool coast. Captured carbon from its cement plant can be stored there.

It has set a target for producing net zero cement by 2030 or sooner.

To realise this target, Hanson’s Head of Process and Sustainability, Iain Walpole, explained: “Government funding requires us to be commercially operational by 2027. If you expect us to have a three-and-a-half-year build programme, that brings us to 2024.

“So, we have two years to get the planning permissions in place and the funding organised and so on.

“It’s a really short timescale we’re working to now – this is going to be the first of its kind [in the UK] and it’s a proof of concept.”