Holcim Plans Emissions-Reducing Cement Plant Operations

Holcim's Ste. Genevieve cement plant

(Credit: Holcim)

by | Oct 20, 2023

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Holcim U.S. has invested $100 million to expand emissions-reducing, circular operations at its Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, cement plant.

The company’s flagship site is reportedly the largest cement-producing facility in North America, and it will now increase production further by more than 600,000 tons of cement. At the same time, emissions reductions of over 400,000 tons each year will be made possible by the funding, Holcim said. The expansion will include a fifth grinding mill and a mineral component system that will enhance processing operations.

The new mineral component system will be added to the site to reduce the clinker factor and add fly ash and other mineral components to cement to increase circularity. Clinker is the element within cement responsible for most of its cost and carbon emissions, and using clinker substitutes lowers its overall emissions impact.

Holcim implements a reduced clinker factor, uses alternative fuels and thermal substitutions, and has been increasing renewable energy usage in order to decarbonize operations. According to the company, the Ste. Genevieve plant operates with about 10% to 15% less emissions than other cement manufacturing sources. The company has also set aside 2,000 acres of the 4,000-acre site as a conservation area.

The expansion is to begin construction in 2024 and is expected to be completed in late 2025.

Holcim Supports Pathway to Decarbonizing Cement Industry

Cement is currently responsible for as much as 9% of global emissions. The sector has come under scrutiny for needing to rapidly decrease its impact on the environment, and some companies are working to explore cement recycling and alternative materials.

In 2021, Holcim launched a calcined clay cement product that emits 34% less carbon per ton than regular cement. Lafarge Canada also recently completed its first phase of a pilot project that uses old concrete and building materials to create new cement.

Holcim aims to lead the industry in making carbon reduction commitments, with a net-zero pledge validated by the Science Based Targets initiative. The new updates to its Ste Genevieve site reflect a continued commitment to decarbonizing operations.

“With an emphasis on achieving the highest levels of environmental performance and operational efficiency, Ste. Genevieve has been the leader in U.S. cement manufacturing since it was built in 2009,” said Toufic Tabbara, North America region head at Holcim. “This investment will ensure we maintain that leadership in supporting the sustainable growth of our nation’s infrastructure and residential construction while accelerating net carbon reduction across the built environment.”

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