Bulgaria’s Devnya Cement is on track to become the first cement producer in Eastern Europe with a zero carbon footprint, thanks to an innovative carbon capture and storage project it is about to implement. The project, valued at EUR 750 million, has already received EUR 190 million in financing from the EU Innovation Fund, according to local media.
At the moment, Devnya, a subsidiary of HeidelbergCement and the largest cement producer in Bulgaria, is implementing a pilot project to test the carbon capture technology that will be used, according to Konstantin Bojinov, the project manager.
Devnya is currently combining two decarbonization technologies to reach a 99% carbon capture rate, he was quoted as saying. The technology, he added, could be scaled and used in a number of other countries.
The company 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 carbon capture technology could be scaled and used in other countries
Another Bulgarian company, soda ash maker Solvay Sodi, is taking steps to decarbonize production with alternative fuels. The plant is already switching to biofuels from agriculture, and intends to start using refuse-derived fuel (RDF), produced from various types of waste.
Bulgaria is a member of the European Union, where carbon emissions are controlled and taxed through the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS). However, the EU is preparing to scrap free carbon allowances it issues to energy-intensive companies as it phases in a carbon border tax on imports of certain products from outside the bloc.
The Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), which will affect exporters of electricity, aluminum, cement, fertilizers, hydrogen, iron, and steel to the EU, including those from the Western Balkans, is set to be phased in from 2026.
Cement makers in the region seek to decarbonize production
In Croatia, also an EU member, cement plant Nexe intends to implement oxyfuel technology as a solution for the long-term elimination of CO2 emissions in its production facilities. The project is valued at EUR 400 million.
Slovenian cement producer Salonit Anhovo has also been trying to decarbonize production, by installing rooftop solar systems.