18 Mar 2024, 12:59
Sören Amelang

Cement industry says Germany needs 4,800 km CO2 pipelines costing €14 bln to decarbonise

Clean Energy Wire

Germany will have to build a 4,800-kilometre CO2 pipeline network at a cost of around 14 billion euros in order to decarbonise its cement, lime, and waste incineration industries, according to a report by the country’s cement industry association (VDZ). "The development of a CO₂ infrastructure in Germany is essential for these industries," said the lobby group’s president Christian Knell in a press release. Germany needs to start work on the project as soon as possible, given that cement manufacturers and other industries in the EU emissions trading scheme must produce in a largely climate-neutral way by 2040, the association warned. "To achieve this, companies need a CO₂ pipeline network by 2035 at the latest," Knell said. He said many cement manufacturers are ready to launch CO₂ capture projects but still lack the necessary legal framework and a suitable transport infrastructure.

The German government last month proposed making carbon capture and storage (CCS) possible to help the country reach greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. It plans to focus state support on capturing and storing or using carbon from industrial processes where emissions are difficult or impossible to avoid. The cement industry report puts the current amount of unavoidable CO2 emissions from the cement, lime and waste incineration sectors at 66 million tonnes per year – almost ten percent of the country’s entire emissions last year, which amounted to 673 million tonnes.

In the report’s central scenario, climate neutrality in cement, lime and waste incineration results in an annual CO₂ transport requirement of 6.5 million tonnes in 2030, 13 million tonnes in 2035, and around 35 million tonnes in 2040. The report adds that additional transit quantities from neighbouring Austria, Switzerland and France would amount to 15 to 20 million tonnes of CO₂ per year. “The rapid development of a CO₂ pipeline network by 2035 at the latest will enable cumulative CO₂ savings of around 500 million tonnes of CO₂ over 20 years in the sectors under consideration,” the association said.

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