Ecocem warns on cement emissions
R&D programme needs to start now if EU emissions targets are to be met
The traditional Irish cement industry is failing to align its CO2 emissions with the roadmap for reducing them that has been set out by the European Union, according to Ecocem, the Irish cement producer that says its product involves substantially less pollution.
The EU roadmap requires Irish industry to reduce its emissions by 85 per cent, from 1990 levels, by 2050. Ecocem, in a paper due to be launched today, says the Irish cement sector needs to start investing now in new carbon-reducing strategies if it is to make the target.
“Otherwise, the future for the sector is grim in a carbon constrained world,” said Donal O’Riain, chairman and founder of Ecocem, pointing out that any new technology would need a lead-in of 10-20 years to become saleable.
Ecocem produces cement using slag from the steel-making process. It says its product has a carbon footprint of 19kg of CO2 per tonne of cement, compared with about 750 kg of CO2 per tonne it says is produced by the traditional Irish cement sector.
The use of the slag-based product cannot provide for all of Ireland’s carbon footprint target for the cement sector, because it requires a proportion of traditionally-produced cement as an “activator”.
A spokesman for the Cement Manufacturers of Ireland said the industry continues to invest in best available technology, to replace fossil fuels and to use of sustainable and locally available raw materials. Cement in Ireland is produced by Irish Cement, Lagan Cement, and Quinn Cement.