Creating Net Zero Lime

April 25, 2023

The Group is leading the industry on two fronts with regards to Net Zero Lime through its collaboration with ArcelorMittal and Aqualung. 

In September the Group announced that it had entered into a JV agreement with ArcelorMittal, a leading global steel and mining company, to develop Europe’s first fully net-zero CO2 quicklime production for use in steel production and other applications. 

Planning has commenced for civils, permitting and kiln specification, with final permitting approval expected toward the end of 2023, which will then facilitate commencement of civil works and construction of the first kiln. 

By plugging into ArcelorMittal’s carbon capture infrastructure, the JV’s quicklime production can both be assured of its net-zero credentials and have proximity to its main offtake. Long-term supply of key inputs, such as limestone and kiln operations, plus offtake of quicklime produced, will be assured by the JV partners. 

In order to supply the new lime kilns in Dunkirk, La Belonga was acquired in July 2022. La Belonga is a limestone quarry located in the north of Spain with 60 million tonnes of Reserves plus Resources and potential for a further 120 million tonnes, subject to permitting. La Belonga is strategic to the Group as it is a large reserve of high quality limestone, possessing high calcium oxide and low sulphur content, which is suitable for use in the steel industry, and is located close to the Gijon port providing export opportunities into the Group’s European operations. 

Around the same time, in November 2022 the Group announced that it had signed an agreement with Aqualung that will allow for the installation of a carbon capture membrane technology solution across all its existing operational kilns. The technology is modular, tested, and scalable, allowing for a phased and systematic roll-out across the Group’s operations. In parallel, the parties will work on the entire carbon chain that includes the capture, sequestration and alternative uses or commercialisation of the captured CO2. The Group thereby estimates that it will be able to dramatically bring forward its net-zero targets once full roll-out has commenced. 

Lime kiln emissions are typically cleaner than other industrial applications and are more suitable to carbon capture, especially with regards to footprint and sizing. Aqualung’s solution uses a patented membrane technology which is both compact and scalable. The technology allows for a comparatively simple, low energy solution that mitigates the risks and complexity associated with absorbents, their regeneration processes, and hazardous wastes. Membrane technology is proven and tested giving both parties the required assurances that it has a high chance of success when applied across an entire kiln network. 

Construction has commenced, and the full unit has been prefabricated and shipped on-site to Scandinavia with plug-and-play integration to the plant. Commissioning and start-up started in April 2023. Once operational the Group will finalise the wide roll-out plan, estimated to be completed by Q3 2023. Full Group roll-out can then be launched.