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PCA News

February 28, 2022

The Portland Cement Association Urges Strong Federal Support for Accelerating Industrial Decarbonization Technologies

Washington, D.C., February 28, 2022: In comments submitted to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office (AMO), the Portland Cement Association (PCA) stated that federal policy and support is vital to accelerate the deployment of technologies that can decarbonize the U.S. industrial sector.

In its comments, PCA noted that it shares the Biden-Harris Administration’s goal of carbon neutrality by 2050 through its own Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality, which lays out a pathway to achieve this across the cement-concrete-construction value chain by 2050.

The comments also state that without strong federal support, AMO’s timeline to reach carbon neutrality across industry is unrealistic due to the significant technical, legal and economic challenges regarding technologies like carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS), and others including hydrogen fuel and kiln electrification.

“Federal policy must accelerate the significant technology, funding, and market innovation needed for rapid decarbonization while preserving economic growth and international competitiveness,” said Sean O’Neill, senior vice president of government affairs at PCA. “The adoption of CCUS is key to achieving deep decarbonization in the cement industry.”

PCA also noted that adopting CCUS technologies is key to achieving deep decarbonization in the cement industry:

  • CCUS would capture the 60 percent of cement sector emissions that come from converting limestone to clinker, the key ingredient in cement.
  • With the right federal and state policies, CCUS could become scalable within 10 years – but infrastructure, policy, permitting and funding challenges remain.
  • 45Q tax credit and other tax incentive reforms, and the use of Department of Energy loan programs, would accelerate early investment and adoption of CCUS.

The PCA comments also state that hydrogen fuels and kiln electrification present potentially transformative emissions reduction technologies, but neither measure will be viable for at least 15-20 years:

  • Hydrogen remains very expensive and there is little current infrastructure for the transport and storage of hydrogen.
  • More research and development is needed to evaluate the efficacy of kiln electrification as a decarbonization measure, such as refining modeling assumptions, integrating different modeling frameworks, and conducting sensitivity analysis on a wide range on scenarios.

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The Portland Cement Association (PCA), founded in 1916, is the premier policy, research, education, and market intelligence organization serving America’s cement manufacturers. PCA members represent the majority of U.S. cement production capacity, having facilities across the country. The association promotes safety, sustainability, and innovation in all aspects of construction, fosters continuous improvement in cement manufacturing and distribution, promoting economic growth and sound infrastructure investment.

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