Climate Change

Bulgarian cement plant gets EU grant for innovative carbon capture, storage project

Bulgarian cement plant EU grant innovative carbon capture storage

Photo: HeidelbergCement

Published

July 18, 2022

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Published:

July 18, 2022

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Devnya Cement, which is working on the first full-chain carbon capture and storage project in the Balkans, got EUR 190 million from the EU’s Innovation Fund. The European Commission said it is set to become a CCUS cluster for Bulgaria and the border regions in Romania and Greece.

The European Commission picked HeidelbergCement’s Bulgarian subsidiary as one of the beneficiaries within its third call for grants from the Innovation Fund. The Devnya Cement plant in the country’s northeast intends to capture carbon dioxide from its operations and pipeline it to the depleted Galata offshore gas field under the Black Sea for permanent storage.

The ANRAV project received a EUR 190 million grant. The remainder of the investment will be covered by private financing. The carbon capture system is planned to be built and installed at the company’s high-tech clinker and cement plant in the city of Devnya.

HeidelbergCement estimated the facility could come online in 2028

The facility is also planned to serve other industries in the Varna region. The European Commission said it is set to become a CCUS cluster for Bulgaria and the adjacent regions in Romania and Greece.

EU funds helping CCUS sector to improve efficiency, become cost-effective

CCUS stands for carbon capture, utilization and storage. There are a number of industrial uses for CO2. But so far the technology has not been very efficient in practice, and it is yet to find a sustainable operation model, especially the systems that sequester the greenhouse gas from the atmosphere.

One of the ideas is to introduce a certificate system through which carbon-intensive industries could offset their emissions and fund the sector’s expansion. When CO2 is only captured for permanent storage, it is called CCS.

The project is carried out with oil and gas company Petroceltic from Ireland

“HeidelbergCement is rapidly progressing on a number of large-scale carbon capture initiatives globally, covering a range of promising options for both utilization and storage. ANRAV now has the potential to pave the way for CCUS in Eastern Europe as well,” said Chairman of the Managing Board of Dominik von Achten.

The project is carried out with oil and gas company Petroceltic from Ireland. Subject to regulatory and permitting aspects, it could start operation as early as 2028, with a capturing capacity of 800,000 tons of CO2 per year, according to German-based HeidelbergCement.

Five carbon capture projects are among 17 beneficiaries

The European Commission approved EUR 1.8 billion in total in the current round, compared to over EUR 1 billion last November. The 17 selected projects cover energy-intensive industries such as cement, chemicals, hydrogen and fuel refineries in Bulgaria, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland and Sweden.

Three other CCS projects for the cement industry in Germany, Poland, France also got grants from the Innovation Fund. Furthermore, a project in Iceland will build a highly scalable onshore carbon mineral storage terminal with an estimated overall storage capacity of 880 million tons of CO₂.

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