Air Liquide and EQIOM are joining forces in a project named “K6” with the aim to transform EQIOM’s Lumbres plant into one of the first carbon-neutral cement plants in Europe. Through the implementation of innovative technologies, the project aims to capture around 8 million tons of CO2 over the first ten years of operation. The K6 project has been awarded funding by the European Commission through its 2021 Innovation Fund call as one of seven industrial-scale projects out of more than 300 grant applications.
As part of the K6 project, EQIOM will carry out a program of technological innovation and in-depth transformation of its existing cement production plant in Lumbres, France. The solution aims to implement a First-of-a-Kind oxyfuel-ready kiln, powered with a high level of alternative fuel. Air Liquide will support this initiative by supplying oxygen to EQIOM’s production process and by leveraging its proprietary technology CryocapTM Oxy to capture and liquefy the CO2 emissions.
Once purified and liquefied, the CO2 captured at the Lumbres Plant would be transported via shipping to permanent storage sites currently under development below the North Sea or would be utilized in building materials. The implementation of this project in close proximity to the port of Dunkirk would also contribute to the development of a new carbon capture and storage (CCS) ecosystem in Europe. The K6 project is a key step for the development of the Dunkirk D’Artagnan PCI (Project of a Common Interest), which aims to create a multi-modal CO2 export hub from Dunkirk industrial basin and its broader area.
The European Innovation Fund is one of the world’s largest programs for promoting innovative low-carbon technologies. Receiving this funding of 150 million euros is an essential milestone towards the implementation of the project. The K6 project is subject to additional funding, regulatory approvals and internal feasibility assessments prior to commencement.
Pascal Vinet, Senior Vice President, a member of Air Liquide Executive Committee, supervising Europe Industries, said: “We are pleased that the K6 project has been selected for funding by the European Commission. Air Liquide’s proprietary CryocapTM technology is particularly adapted to decarbonate activities such as the cement industry as it allows the capture of a high level of CO2 emissions on industrial plants. Not only could this project transform the Lumbres plant into one of the first carbon-neutral cement plants in Europe, but it could also contribute to the creation of a new carbon capture and storage ecosystem in the Dunkirk industrial area. In line with its sustainability objectives, which include reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, Air Liquide’s ambition is to contribute actively to the emergence of a low-carbon industry.”
Roberto Huet, EQIOM CEO, said: “Thanks to EU and French Government support, EQIOM is moving one step closer to achieving carbon neutrality. The K6 programme in Lumbres demonstrates our commitment to addressing the challenges of climate change and our contribution to the development of a more sustainable and resilient built environment. It will also contribute to the local economy and help to demonstrate France’s leadership in industrial innovation and emissions reduction.”
 Liquefaction and logistics platform, the CO2 would be transported by pipe and then loaded onto ships.
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