Carbon Direct invests €15m in LEILAC CO2 capture business

Decarbonisation investor Carbon Direct has invested €15m for a 6.98% equity stake in Calix-owned LEILAC Group, which develops CO2 capture technology.
Concrete Plants, Equipment & Applications / September 20, 2021
By Liam McLoughlin
LEILAC technology has been piloted at the HeidelbergCement plant in Lixhe, Belgium
LEILAC technology has been piloted at the HeidelbergCement plant in Lixhe, Belgium

The LEILAC Group is the exclusive licensee of Australia-based Calix’s Low Emissions Intensity Lime and Cement (LEILAC) CO2 capture technology.

LEILAC technology has been successfully piloted at 25K tonnes per annum scale at the HeidelbergCement plant at Lixhe in Belgium, and is being scaled up to 100K tonnes per annum scale in the 'LEILAC-2' project for a HeidelbergCement plant in Hannover, Germany. Further commercial pilot plants for lime production are under development including one with Tarmac, the UK division of CRH, and with AdBri in Australia.

Calix Limited CEO Phil Hodgson said the deal represented a critical milestone in Calix’s stated strategy of seeking equity 'farm-ins', after initial development undertaken by Calix, to accelerate and deploy its underlying platform technology into each line of business.

“As each of these businesses become independent commercial entities, they will remain joined at the hip” technically with Calix, which will continue to support development of the core intellectual property. Over time, growing royalty income from these companies will also support the development of new applications of the IP and associated technologies,” said Hodgson.

He said the investment by Carbon Direct will help accelerate the development and deployment of the Calix Technology for cement and lime decarbonisation.

“The recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report was unequivocal in saying that to reach the stated 2030 goals on climate change, CO2 emissions have to be reduced. LEILAC Technology is an option that is being deployed now to meet this urgent need."

As part of the investment, Calix will retain 30% of royalties earned by the LEILAC from deployment of the technology, regardless of Calix’s equity stake in the group.

The LEILAC Group will operate autonomously, with its own management team and a board composed mostly of Calix directors, with one appointee nominated by US-based Carbon Direct. A new CEO will be appointed to run the LEILAC business as a stand-alone entity.

Carbon Direct’s investment arm, Carbon Direct Capital Management, makes direct investments into leading carbon removal and utilisation technology companies. The firm also operates a scientific advisory business, which advises leading corporations on how to fulfil their carbon removal and utilisation commitments. Carbon Direct’s advisory work spans 28 countries and includes clients such as Microsoft and Shopify.

For more information on companies in this article