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The cement factory in Carboneras, Source: LafargeHolcim España

Joint venture in Almeria Province makes CO2 central to circular economy

Joint venture in Almeria Province makes CO2 central to circular economy

Greenhouse gas here is not just a cliché term

There is a cement factory located in the municipality of Carboneras, on the southeastern coast of Spain, and much like all other similar facilities, it is a major emitter of CO2 into the atmosphere. This is about to change with the recent news that three companies - LafargeHolcim Spain, Carbon Clean and Sistemas de Calor – have created ECCO2, a joint venture for the development of a carbon dioxide capture plant.

The purpose of the project is to capture the CO2 of the emissions that are generated during the cement manufacturing process and then treat it for subsequent agricultural use. The captured carbon will be used in greenhouses in the region, where it will improve crop productivity through a process known as carbon fertilization, which mimics and enhances natural photosynthesis.

After all, CO2 is like food for the plants

Carbon fertilization increases the eco-efficiency of crops by reducing the proportion of water and soil per kg of vegetable production. This circular carbon economy project will reduce CO2 emissions and will offer a sustainable future to the region.

Isidoro Miranda, CEO of LafargeHolcim Spain, the company that owns the factory, points out that “thanks to the creation of this joint-venture we are getting closer and closer to completing this project that will contribute to improving the competitiveness and efficiency of our factory, but also of local agricultural production when compared to the high-tech greenhouses that already use this technology in other European countries.”

He adds that “this circular economy business model, which will initially start with the capture of 10% of carbon dioxide emissions, will become an important milestone in the roadmap towards decarbonization of the construction materials sector."

The sustainable growth of industry and agriculture is a priority and strategic issue for the future of the province of Almería. ECCO2 has been developed in response to this and will improve the environment by increasing the productivity of intensive agriculture in the region. It will also be eligible for EU Next Generation funding.

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