Site Selection Made for First Commercial Manufacturing of Low-Carbon Cement

Mixed and finished cement on some old rebar as Sublime Systems Selects Site in Holyoke, Massachusetts For First Commercial, Kiloton-Scale Manufacturing of Its Low-Carbon Cement

(Credit: Unsplash)

by | Jan 10, 2024

Holyoke, Massachusetts, has been named as the site for the first commercial manufacturing facility by Sublime Systems to scale low-carbon cement.

The company signed an agreement for 16 acres in the city’s Flats neighborhood, located on Water Street, where a paper mill formerly stood. The site is also powered by Holyoke’s hydroelectric resources. 

Holyoke became known as “The Paper City” after it produced 80% of the writing paper in the United States in the late 19th century. In addition, the town was created as a planned industrial community with the Holyoke Dam. The area experienced a steep decline in its manufacturing base during the 20th century.

“Our mission has always been to create vibrant Holyoke neighborhoods, and we are thrilled to partner with Sublime in a revitalization of the Flats that will show the nation that once-great industrial cities can lead the next clean energy transition — benefitting everyone from their closest residential neighborhoods to the entire planet’s population,” said One Holyoke CDC Executive Director Michael Moriarty.

Low-Carbon Cement

Sublime Systems received a state tax credit from the Economic Development Incentive Program and local Tax Increment Financing from Holyoke to offset property taxes as part of its agreement. The company plans to commission its Holyoke facility as soon as 2026 to produce low-carbon Sublime Cement, which is manufactured without fossil fuels or decomposing limestone — both of which are two major emissions sources of the traditional cement industry.

As one of the most widely-used construction elements, Cement has a big impact on the environment, accounting for an estimated 8% of global carbon dioxide emissions. each pound of concrete releases 0.93 pounds of CO2, according to the National Ready Mixed Concrete Association

The industry has seen several innovators push for low-carbon cement solutions, including carbon capture and storage.

Sublime stated its company was born out of the idea to use renewable energy to decarbonize one of the dirtiest industries, leveraging Holyoke’s hydroelectric power resource. The company also plans to build a 1-million-ton-per-year-capacity plant in the future, and will use the Holyoke facility to grow its customer base and de-risk its technology.

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