ANRAV – the first ever carbon capture and storage project in the Balkan region – has officially been given the go-ahead by the European Union’s Innovation Fund.
Heidelberg Materials, the project’s owner, signed the Grant Agreement on 23 January alongside fourteen other approved projects.
This major carbon capture project will connect facilities at the Devnya Cement plant in Bulgaria, which is owned by Heidelberg Materials, with permanent storage below the Black Sea. With financial backing from the EU Innovation Fund totalling €190 million ($207 million), as well as from the company and its partners, the project is estimated to be fully operational by 2028, with the ability to capture up to 800,000 tons of CO2 per year.
Ernest Jelito, from the company’s Managing Board for the Northern and Eastern Europe-Central Asia area, said of the project:
“Devnya will be the first carbon-neutral cement plant in the country and the region… ANRAV will also enable other industrial players to join the carbon chain in the future and share storage capacity. In this way, we want to not only decarbonize our company in Bulgaria, but also provide opportunities for the whole region,”
HeidelbergCement is taking strides towards decarbonizing its traditionally high-emissions operations. Cement production often requires burning coal and other fossil fuels, and the company’s objective is to reduce emissions by 10 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030 through already started carbon capture projects.