CO2 storage targets will strengthen the business case for decarbonisation investments
The EU cement industry has an ambitious decarbonisation agenda, which requires the deployment of breakthrough decarbonisation technologies and zero-carbon energy as soon as possible. CEMBUREAU therefore supports the Net Zero Industry Act as a significant opportunity to scale up investments in Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) and other clean technologies.
In particular, the setting of an EU 2030 target for CO2 injection capacity and the creation of clear transparency requirements for Member States on CO2 storage capacity data offer considerable potential to improve the business case for carbon capture investments.
The coming decade will be critical for the scale up of breakthrough technologies in our sector. Besides the development of CO2 storage capacity, the following measures are important:
- We welcome the focus on simplifying permitting procedures through the introduction of a onestop shop and the shortening of the duration for permit-granting, for which cooperation with Member States through the Net-Zero Europe platform will be key. It is critical that such faster permitting procedures apply throughout the value chain of net zero technology projects (e.g. CCUS and on-site renewable projects in cement kilns).
- The Net Zero Industry Act should put a stronger focus on the development of CO2 transport networks at national level and across the EU. Fair access conditions to both CO2 storage sites and CO2 pipelines should be ensured.
- The financing available through the ETS Innovation Fund should be frontloaded and directed towards breakthrough technologies in hard-to-abate sectors. Carbon Contracts for Difference (CCFDs) can also play a pivotal role for CCUS projects.
- A clear framework for carbon use should be developed to support industrial sectors faced with unavoidable CO2 emissions.
- The focus on skills and diversity should be supported. Upskilling and training will be needed to support the transformation of EU cement plants in the coming decade.
Whilst a mix of technologies are needed to decarbonise cement production (please see CEMBUREAU’s Carbon Neutrality Roadmap ), CCUS is particularly critical as our sector faces unavoidable process emissions. A large number of CCUS pilot and demonstration projects have been launched by cement companies across Europe, with the first of them becoming operational as early as 2024. The pipeline of investments is particularly strong – for instance, the latest ETS Innovation Fund call awarded over 500 million Euros to three cement CCUS projects.
CEMBUREAU stands ready to engage with policymakers as discussions on the draft Act go on.
CEMBUREAU, the European Cement Association is based in Brussels and is the representative organization of the cement industry in Europe. Currently, its Full Members are 23 national cement industry associations and cement companies of the European Union plus Norway, Switzerland, Turkey and the UK. Croatia, Serbia and Slovakia are Associate Members of CEMBUREAU. Cooperation agreements have been concluded with Vassiliko Cement in Cyprus and UKRCEMENT in Ukraine.
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