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Hagerstown plant accelerates net-zero journey through investments in alternative thermal energy capacity

Published by , Editorial Assistant
World Cement,

The Holcim Hagerstown plant in Maryland is accelerating its net-zero journey by expanding its alternative thermal energy capacity to 45%, representing 58 000 tpy of engineered fuel.

The US$11 million project, celebrated at a ribbon cutting, will improve the plant's sustainability profile by replacing traditional fuels with alternative thermal energy, engineered from materials at their end of life, that would otherwise be landfilled, such as non-recyclable paper, plastics and fibres.

"Expanding our alternative thermal energy use to 45% provides multiple environmental and economic benefits, from lowering the net carbon intensity of our cement to reducing our consumption of traditional fuels", said Michael Nixon, senior vice president of Manufacturing North for Chicago-based Holcim US. "Importantly, it enables us to play a role in the circular economy, offering a highly safe and ecological solution for unused materials."

The alternative thermal energy will be sourced from non-recyclable commercial and industrial materials, such as packaging materials. The bulk of these materials will be pre-processed by Geocycle, a wholly owned subsidiary of Holcim US, at its new facility in Cumberland, Maryland. The facility is permitted to process up to 75 000 tpy of materials and will serve the needs of regional industrial manufacturers.

"The Maryland House of Delegates is proud to support Holcim's efforts to develop low-carbon construction materials", said Maryland House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones. "Whether through the Buy Clean Maryland Act or this year's legislation adding cement production to the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act, Holcim has continued to demonstrate their commitment to voluntarily reducing the industry's greenhouse gas emissions."

Other sustainability initiatives at the Hagerstown plant include a solar field that generates up to 18 441 610 kilowatt hours of renewable power, supplying more than 28% of the plant's electricity energy.

Holcim Hagerstown's cement is used in construction projects across the region, including Amazon's headquarters in Virginia, Interstate 66 in Virginia, Arlington Memorial Bridge, homes, businesses, highways and local infrastructure.

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