Pipeline Operator Enbridge Expected to Enter Carbon-Capture Cement Partnership

(Reuters) — The Canadian government will on Wednesday sign a memorandum of understanding with Germany's Heidelberg Materials to help develop a facility to capture carbon emissions from cement production, two sources with knowledge of the plan said.

Innovation Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne will announce the partnership in Edmonton, Alberta, where Heidelberg and pipeline company Enbridge Inc. are developing a plan to capture and sequester the Lehigh cement plant's carbon emissions.

Heidelberg could not be immediately reached for comment. The minister's office declined to comment. Sources declined to be identified, as the information was not public.

It is unclear what the details of the partnership with the Canadian government are, or whether public funding was immediately available.

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One source, who did not have approval to speak publicly, said the agreement shows that the Heidelberg-Enbridge project is progressing faster than other plans to capture greenhouse gas emissions from heavy industry and store it underground. Oil sands companies are one of the other groups developing plans for hubs elsewhere in Alberta.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is relying heavily on carbon-capture plans for facilities in Alberta to capture and store underground the carbon produced by the Western Canadian province's heavy industry, including oil and gas, fertilizer and cement.

Ottawa is aiming to cut national greenhouse gas emissions by 40%-45% from 2005 levels by 2030.

Last week, Trudeau's government widened eligibility for previously-announced carbon capture utilization and storage (CCUS) investment tax credits to include cement plants.

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