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23 Oct 2023

Heidelberg Materials has started developing Bulgaria’s first carbon capture plant

Amy Power
Heidelberg Materials has started developing Bulgaria’s first carbon capture plant

The very first step in ANRAV’s large-scale project has been taken and the ANRAV.beta unit is under development. The aim for ANRAV is to become Bulgaria’s first full-chain CCUS project in Eastern Europe, this was announced in early 2023. After lots of development, the plan is for ANRAV to deal with carbon capture, transport, geological storage and utilisation.

OxyCal is the groundbreaking new technology which will be going into the research and trials taking place throughout the research, held at the new facility. It is an innovative carbon capture technology which is built around adding pure oxygen to the clinker burning process. This results in a CO2-rich flue gas with a high degree of purity, which is able to be reused or safely stored. The new pilot at the Devnya plant is set to prove the efficiency of the technology as well as the technologies scalability to ANRAV CCUS and other projects of the Group such as Anthemis in Belgium. The demonstration period will last approximately 12 to 24 months.

A member of the Managing Board of Heidelberg Materials who is responsible for Northern and Eastern Europe-Central Asia Group area, Ernest Jelito, commented, “The OxyCal technology we will be trialling in Devnya is a crucial addition to our portfolio of capture technologies. Obtaining solid operational data from industrial pilots like this is essential to ensure the successful implementation of projects under our comprehensive CCUS investment programme. At the same time, we can demonstrate an economically feasible way to decarbonise carbon-intensive industries in Eastern Europe”.

Dr Nicola Kimm, the Chief Sustainability Officer and Member of the Managing Board, said, “This is a significant moment for the further development of CCUS technologies across Heidelberg Materials. ANRAV.beta is an important step on our journey to offer our customers in Eastern Europe fully decarbonised cement already in the near future. This pilot will greatly facilitate the implementation of the overall ANRAV project. I am very pleased that the Devnya team, together with our global Competence Centre Cement, have been able to get this off the ground in a very short time”.

Minster Milena Stoycheva, added, “We welcome Heidelberg Materials' investment in this highly visionary carbon capture project. R&D initiatives such as ANRAV are transforming Bulgaria into an innovation hub for the whole region of Southeastern Europe, and we are glad to support this as a partner”.

ANRAV is an excellent project and breakthrough for Eastern Europe as it is their first full-chain CCUS project and as long as it passes it regulatory and permitting aspects, the chain could be in operation in 2028. The plant will have a capturing capacity of 800,000 t Co2 p.a. plus it is the first project within the region to have received a grant of 190 million euros from the EU Innovation Fund, in order to support the project’s development. The project will have a multitude of benefits, with the two which are most prominent being the project’s ability to unlock CCUS potential in Bulgaria and to allow the level of Co2 emissions to be reduced significantly on a national scale.


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