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Monday, March 25, 2024

U.S. Department of Energy: $20+ Billion Set Aside to Revitalize Manufacturing Communities and Create and Maintain Good-Paying Jobs

"Investing in America" Promoted as Single Largest Industrial Decarbonization Investment in the Nation’s History
[Monday, March 25, 2024]: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today announced up to $6 billion for 33 projects across more than 20 states to decarbonize energy-intensive industries, reduce industrial greenhouse gas emissions, support good-paying union jobs, revitalize industrial communities, and strengthen the nation’s manufacturing competitiveness.

The 33 projects chosen for potential award negotiations are within industries considered difficult to decarbonize. This includes projects in the following industries: chemicals and refining, iron and steel, aluminum and metals, food and beverage, glass, process heat, pulp and paper, and finally, cement and concrete.

“Spurring on the next generation of decarbonization technologies in key industries like steel, paper, concrete, and glass will keep America the most competitive nation on Earth,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “These investments will slash emissions from these difficult-to-decarbonize sectors and ensure American businesses and American workers remain at the forefront of the global economy.”

Industry: Cement and Concrete

The six selected cement and concrete projects plan to demonstrate a comprehensive set of technologies capable of eliminating all CO2 emissions from today’s plants while setting the stage for a future where cement—one of the single largest sources of CO2 emissions globally—can be net-negative.
These game-changing projects will revolutionize a sector that has relied on emissions-intensive processes for millennia.

From capturing and sequestering the emissions from one of the largest cement plants in the U.S. to pioneering chemistry changes to mitigate emissions at their source, DOE’s investments can fundamentally transform cement—the world’s most abundant man-made material and a building block of our world’s infrastructure.

Together, the projects will develop new pathways for making traditional Portland cement with lower or zero emissions and to pioneer new materials and new mixtures that can drive the sector to zero emissions.

Project: Lebec Net Zero Cement Plant Project

  • Location: Lebec, California
  • Federal Cost Share: Up to $500 million
  • Selectee: National Cement Company of California, Inc.
Project Summary:

The Lebec Net Zero Cement Plant Project in California, led by the National Cement Company of California, Inc. (NCC-California), plans to produce carbon-neutral cement at the Lebec, California cement plant.

Instead of using fossil fuels, the project would use locally sourced biomass from agricultural byproducts such as pistachio shells, replace clinker with a less carbon intensive alternative (calcined clay) to produce limestone calcined clay cement (LC3), and capture and sequester the plant’s remaining approximately 950,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. This project aims to demonstrate how a combination of decarbonization levers can drive emissions associated with existing U.S. cement production facilities to net-zero.

The plant upgrades would generate 20-25 permanent jobs and improve air quality for the surrounding communities. NCC-California intends to establish a working relationship with Helmets to Hardhats, a non-profit organization that supports veterans transitioning out of active duty into the civilian workforce. Through these strategic collaborations, NCC-California aims to fund and offer diverse opportunities, including no-fee certification programs, non-credit courses, paid courses, internships, and job training opportunities. 100% of NCC-California’s hourly workforce is represented by the United Steelworkers.