BEV, a private investment coalition founded in 2015 by Bill Gates to support zero emission innovations, will also nominate a director to Ireland-based Ecocem's board of directors.
Ecocem was established in 2003 and is a provider of slag-based and other green cements. The company says the investment will enable it to bring new ultra-low-carbon cements to the market over the coming years. It adds that these new products will draw on its deep knowledge in slag-based cements and incorporate new materials and technologies developed by the company.
The manufacture of cement generates 7% of global CO2 emissions and Ecocem says that progress in decarbonisation has been limited by the high level of process-related CO2 emissions of cement clinker manufacture. The sector faces high investment and high operating costs from the deployment of Carbon Capture and Storage/Use (CCSU) beyond 2030. Only limited further decarbonisation potential is foreseen this decade.
Ecocem says its new technologies will enable the global cement industry to reduce its CO2 emissions rapidly and without excessive cost, providing high-performance cements with significantly lower clinker content.
The cement sector is already developing and deploying a range of carbon reduction technologies. Ecocem says it will add a further dimension to these efforts, provide wide access to its low-carbon technology, and support the sector in moving to a Paris-compliant, emissions reduction trajectory.
Donal O’Riain, founder and managing director of Ecocem, commented: “Everyone at Ecocem is very excited at what we can achieve with the support of BEV and BEV-E. We share the conviction that rapid decarbonisation of cement manufacture is vital for the planet, and that it can be achieved through innovation and the diffusion of new technology. Together we can now meet this challenge with renewed urgency and ambition.”
Teresa Czerwinska, EIB vice-president in charge of innovation, said: “Concrete is the foundation of human development, but its conventional production is highly CO2-intensive.
“The Paris agreement on climate change demands that annual carbon emissions from the cement industry fall by up to 50% by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5- 2 centigrade. Innovative technologies in the sector are therefore more needed than ever. I am happy that EIB-support enables financing for a company that can substantially reduce the carbon footprint of cement.”