ERA supports Lehigh Cement plant CCS study

The Government of Alberta announced it will fund $1.4 million through ERA to support a feasibility study into CCS at Lehigh Cement's Edmonton plant.

Late last month, the Government of Alberta announced it will fund $1.4 million through Emissions Reduction Alberta to support the $3 million feasibility study into carbon capture and storage, or CCS, at Lehigh Cement’s Edmonton plant.

According to a press release from the Kenney government, if the project goes forward, the plant could avoid up to 90 per cent of its current emissions per year and create about 20 full-time jobs.  This would equal taking 104,000 cars off the road for one year.

Joerg Nixdorf, president of Lehigh Hanson Canada Region says “We are part of HeidelbergCement Group’s vision of CO2 neutral concrete by 2050 and the potential of concrete to become the most sustainable building material.”

The press release says the Lehigh project aligns with Alberta’s new Technology Innovation and Emissions Reduction, or TIER, system, which takes effect on Jan. 1, 202o.  TIER has been set up to help industries deploy new emissions reducing technology to help keep businesses competitive.  The system will also support research and investment in clean, Alberta-based technologies like CCS.

Jason Nixon, Minister of Environment and Parks says the program is “a prime example of the innovative, game-changing technology” the TIER system will support.  He adds it also shows the “entrepreneurial spirit of our industries, that continue to set an example by seeking out unique solutions and untapped technologies that can lower emissions at home and around the world.”

The Kenney government says the province is a leader in CCS development and has taken considerable steps with commercial-scale funding, regulatory enhancements and knowledge sharing over the past 10 years.  

The Alberta-based Quest project is the first application of CCS in the world at an oil sands upgrader. The facility has captured and safely injected more than four million tonnes of emissions since 2015.

The Quest project was supported by a $1.24-billion commitment to two commercial-scale CCS projects under the Stelmach government.

“Reducing emissions in energy-intensive industries like cement requires going beyond incremental improvement to accelerating the development and market introduction of new and emerging low-carbon technologies,” said Steve MacDonald, CEO, Emissions Reduction Alberta.

“Emissions Reduction Alberta’s funding allows industry to learn by doing projects of the right scale, scope and effectiveness,” said MacDonald.

Nixdorf adds “The Lehigh CCS study is a leading initiative for carbon capture in cement and demonstrates HeidelbergCement’s commitment to lead global change for CCS in our industry.”

Experts from the CCS Knowledge Centre were involved in designing and building SaskPower’s Boundary Dam 3 Carbon Capture Facility – the world’s first and only commercial power plant to integrate CCS technology.

“CCS is a proven and effective emission-reduction technology, so it is exciting to be part of a large-scale CCS initiative that builds on learnings from the world’s first renowned Boundary Dam 3 CCS Facility,” said Beth Hardy, vice-president, International CCS Knowledge Centre. She adds “With this study and global leaders like Lehigh, the application of CCS moves its value beyond coal into cement.”

CCS is a technology that can capture and store more than 90 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes, preventing the emissions from entering the atmosphere.


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