CEMEX Successfully Powers its European Cement Plant Fleet with Hydrogen Fuel-mix

The project is being supported by $40 million American investment fund; CEMEX to roll out revolutionary hydrogen technology to its cement factory-fleets around the world

 

Mexican cement giant, CEMEX announced that it has successfully introduced hydrogen as part of its fuel mix to power all of its European cement plants. The innovation is being funded by an American investment program that has spent $40 million on the project. CEMEX has further announced that given its successful deployment, the technology will be implemented in its operations around the globe: Mexico, South and Central America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and the US.

A CEMEX plant in Europe, Credit: CEMEX website

By adding hydrogen to the fuel being used to power a cement plant, CEMEX is effectively reducing its fossil fuel consumption, improving energy efficiency and increasing momentum towards achieving carbon dioxide emission targets. Adding hydrogen also improves the cement kiln’s combustion process.

CEMEX first ran a pilot of this technology in 2019, at its Alicante plant in Spain. The technology quickly proved to be a gamechanger in reducing carbon dioxide emissions generated by the plant to a significant degree. Consequently, the company decided to implement the technology in all its plants last year. Roberto Ponguta, CEMEX Vice-president of Global Operations, Technical and Energy, said: “The fast adoption of this new hydrogen-based technology is a clear example of CEMEX’s innovation efforts and its strong commitment to decarbonize the cement production process. We continue to identify and deploy existing technologies which have a high potential to contribute to our sustainability goals, and hydrogen is a key lever.”

The cement industry has been under tremendous pressure to reform its manufacturing process, given that it is notoriously challenging to decarbonise. CEMEX’s hydrogen-mix fuel has now put the company firmly on its path to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 35% globally by the end of this decade. Since more member states of the EU are beginning to commit to lower emission targets, CEMEX has refined this target to 55% for its European operations. Envisioned in the company’s Climate Action Strategy, CEMEX has also announced its ambition to produce net-zero carbon concrete in all its plants around the world by 2050.