Government of Canada signs partnership with Heidelberg Materials to decarbonize the cement and concrete industry

Heidelberg Materials’ investment will continue to position Canada as a front-runner in the production of low-carbon concrete

EDMONTON, AB, April 5, 2023 /CNW/ – Innovation is essential to achieving a resilient, sustainable economy while meeting Canada’s climate goals and protecting the planet for future generations. The Government of Canada is committed to economic growth that enhances the competitiveness of Canadian industry in the net-zero carbon economy, reduces environmental impacts and builds a clean future. To cut pollution, build a strong, sustainable economy and reach net zero by 2050, the government and the private sector must continue to work together.

Today, the Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry, along with the Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, announced that the Government of Canada has signed a partnership with Heidelberg Materials. This partnership will help support the company’s $1.36 billion project to build a full-scale carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) system and a combined heat and power (CHP) system at its Edmonton cement facility. This CCUS system, a first of its kind in North America, would enable the company to produce carbon-neutral cement through the capture and compression of carbon dioxide (CO2) for subsequent transportation and permanent storage, reducing greenhouse gas emissions by up to 1 million tonnes annually. This is the equivalent of removing more than 300,000 passenger vehicles from the road annually.

Today’s announcement marks the signing of a memorandum of understanding and the start of negotiations toward an agreement for the proposed project, which supports actions outlined in the Roadmap to Net-Zero Carbon Concrete by 2050. This project is a major step forward in establishing Canada as a global leader in the production of low-carbon concrete and builds on a strong track record of innovation related to the technologies, tools and policies needed to stay on track with a net-zero trajectory.


“This partnership shows that our government is committed to the hard-working people of Alberta, as well as to the greening of Canada’s production of concrete and cement. There is a growing urgency for rapid decarbonization in high-emitting sectors, including the cement and concrete industry, and by working hand in hand with the industry, we can support the adoption of innovative technologies that will contribute to lower emissions and increased competitiveness. Carbon capture is an important tool in our fight against climate change, and Canada is proud to be partnering with Heidelberg Materials in the development of this innovative clean technology.” 

– The Honourable François-Philippe Champagne, Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry

“With Budget 2023, we’re investing in the economic building blocks that will create tens of thousands of new jobs, provide the resources for our country to lead new net-zero solutions, and build a prosperous future for all Albertans and Canadians. This budget and today’s announcement are statements that Alberta will continue to be not only relevant but also forward-thinking as we assert ourselves as global leaders in the net-zero future.”

– The Honourable Randy Boissonnault, Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance

“I am pleased to see that the Heidelberg Materials carbon capture, utilization and storage solution pilot project will be going into production shortly. The Edmonton region is uniquely positioned to decarbonize large industrial facilities such as this cement plant, and this announcement today by Heidelberg Materials and the Government of Canada supports the City of Edmonton’s commitment to transition to a low-carbon future and reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. By preserving our environment and diversifying our economy in innovative ways, we can build a more sustainable Edmonton for all of us.”

— His Worship Amarjeet Sohi, Mayor of Edmonton

“Our Edmonton CCUS project as the world’s first carbon-neutral cement plant represents Heidelberg Materials’ ambitious drive to lead the industry to net zero, and we are excited to begin realizing this as soon as possible. We are very fortunate to have support from the Government of Canada in this endeavour, and we look forward to continued collaboration as we move forward with this exciting project.”

Chris Ward, President and CEO, Heidelberg Materials North America

“Today is a great milestone in our journey to produce the world’s first net-zero cement. This pioneering initiative places the city of Edmonton at the epicentre of the cement industry’s decarbonization efforts. We welcome the support from the Government of Canada and look forward to the next steps in this industry-leading CCUS project.”

Oliver Patsch, President of the Northwest Region, Heidelberg Materials North America

Quick facts
  • Since 1993, Heidelberg Materials has been operating in Canada (British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario) and been a leading producer of cement products in North America with core activities including the production of cement, aggregates, ready-mix concrete, asphalt and other downstream products.
  • Concrete is the most used building material on the planet, and the cement needed to make that concrete accounts for 7% of global carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
  • More than 1,100 ready mixed concrete, precast concrete, concrete pipe and masonry plants are located across Canada. Collectively, the industry is responsible for approximately 158,000 direct and indirect jobs, and it contributes $76 billion to our economy annually.
  • While Canadian production largely supports the Canadian market, exports of cement to the United States have increased from $840 million in 2016 to $1.1 billion in 2019.
  • Carbon capture is a technology that can capture up to 95% of the CO2 emissions produced from the use of fossil fuels in electricity generation and industrial processes, preventing the carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
  • Natural Resources Canada has identified carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies as one of the four key technology areas critical to achieving global climate and energy goals.
  • Increased use of CCUS features in the mix of every credible path to achieving net zero by 2050, including all 1.5°C pathways developed by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency.
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