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Austria's first CO2 recovery plant in the cement industry

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

Rohrdorfer is building Austria's first CO2 recovery plant in the cement industry on an industrial scale.

Yesterday, Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler, Provincial Councillor Markus Achleitner and Provincial Councillor Stefan Kaineder broke ground at Rohrdorfer Zement GmbH in Gmunden. The plant will be able to recover 30 000 tpy of carbon dioxide, enabling the production of 50 000 tpy of CO2-free cement. The plant is scheduled to go into operation in late fall 2026.

Austria's first plant for the recovery of carbon dioxide

Rohrdorfer sets a milestone in Austria with the first plant for the recovery of carbon dioxide (carbon capture) in the cement industry. Cryogenic gas separation is used to separate the carbon dioxide from the flue gas of the cement plant. It can then be stored (carbon capture and storage) or converted into basic chemicals (carbon capture and usage). Preparations for 'CryoCEM', as the project is known internally at Rohrdorfer, have been in full swing for weeks. The ground-breaking ceremony marks the official start of the project.

The project will receive a total of 30 million euros in funding from the Austrian innovation programme 'Transformation of Industry'. This covers three quarters of the total costs. The remaining costs will be covered by the Rohrdorfer Group. "We have put a lot of work and resources into the development of CryoCEM", says Dr. Christopher Ehrenberg, Technical Director of Rohrdorfer's cement division. "Rohrdorfer's declared goal is complete decarbonisation by 2038. We are doing a lot of pioneering work in this area and are very pleased that our commitment has been recognised in the form of the funding commitment and the high-ranking visit to today's ground-breaking ceremony."

Climate Protection Minister Leonore Gewessler: "Today's ground-breaking ceremony is an important milestone and is a great demonstration of how innovative and future-oriented our industry is. One fact is clear: we must do everything we can to avoid emissions and protect the climate. As the last alternative for unavoidable emissions, we need innovative plants like this. This means that climate-damaging CO2 can be bound via the production process, as here in the cement industry, thus preventing our climate from being heated up further. With our federal funding programme 'Transformation of Industry', we will continue to actively support the industry on its way to a green and climate-friendly future and thus make an important contribution to strengthening our business location and phasing out fossil fuels."

"The decarbonisation of industry is not only of central importance for climate protection, but also for securing the competitiveness of domestic industry. As the No. 1 economic and industrial province, Upper Austria is home to many CO2-intensive companies. It is therefore all the more encouraging that there are also many pioneers among these companies in our province who have taken up the cause of rapid decarbonisation. Rohrdorfer is one of these pioneers, as its current CryoCEM project once again impressively demonstrates. I would like to congratulate Rohrdorfer on this innovative project and on its ambitious goal of producing only CO2-neutral cement by 2038. The company is thus making an important contribution to ensuring that Upper Austria continues to be one of the pioneers in implementing the energy transition in the industrial sector. We will continue to actively support our companies on the path to decarbonisation in the future", emphasised Markus Achleitner, Provincial Councillor for Economic Affairs and Energy, at the ground-breaking ceremony in Gmunden.

"In the fight against the climate crisis, we need allies at all levels, and industry is also a very important sector. This is also about securing jobs in Upper Austria in the long term. The transformation of industry towards climate neutrality is about setting the right incentives and providing targeted support. As Chairman of the Environmental Funding Commission, I am particularly proud that the Rohrdorfer company has submitted its CryoCEM project and that we are able to support it with €30 million. As an innovative player in the cement industry, Rohrdorfer is a pioneer in the field of CO2 storage and is thus making an important contribution to climate protection", said Stefan Kaineder, Provincial Councillor for the Environment and Climate.

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