A $125 million green cement project to help cut greenhouse gas emissions will be developed in South Australia.
The Hallett Group has received $20 million in federal government funding, with its plan expected to cut Australia’s annual carbon dioxide emissions initially by 300,000 tonnes, growing to one million tonnes as it expands.
The company will use existing technology to manufacture supplementary materials that can replace more than 50 per cent of traditional high-emission clinker-based cement.
The primary manufacturing operation will be based at Port Augusta, employing about 50 people, where it will extract and process waste flyash from the now-closed Port Augusta power station operations.
It will add materials from the Nyrstar Port Pirie metals smelter and, subject to a successful evaluation, the Liberty Whyalla Steelworks assisting both operations to reduce their onsite environmental footprint.
A separate import, export and distribution facility is being built at Port Adelaide.
Hallett Group chief executive Kane Salisbury said the project would replace imports of supplementary materials and future-proof Australia’s access to green cement.
“This will deliver significant and quantifiable sustainability, employment, and financial benefits to a broad range of local and national stakeholders and businesses,” he said.
With existing material reserves and ongoing production offtake, Hallett plans to provide the market with at least 30 million tons of supplementary materials over the next 20 years and beyond.
That would help drive down the 12 million tonnes of high carbon dioxide emitting clinker-based cement used in the Australian market each year.
South Australian Energy and Mining Minister Tom Koutsantonis said the project demonstrated the state’s attractiveness to investors wanting to pursue low emissions technologies.
“Building homes and cities using low emissions materials and leveraging renewable energy is the kind of innovative investment the government plans to attract by maintaining South Australia’s reputation for global leadership in renewables,” Mr Koutsantonis said.
Hallett Group owner Mark Pickard said the company’s bold entry into green cement challenged the long-established cement market structure in Australia, which would unlock further innovation and development opportunities for the group and cement consumers.