Members of a new multi-company partnership are investing $8 million to develop the use of alternative fuels at Lafarge Canada's cement plant in Bath, Ontario. The partnership is intended to help the cement industry adopt low carbon fuels faster.

The companies in the partnership – Lafarge Canada Inc., Natural Resources Canada, the Queen’s Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy and Carbon Management Canada – are partnering to help develop innovative solutions by re-using local surplus materials and other energy containing material that are not currently recycled as low carbon fuels.

“We are delighted to bring this world-class demonstration initiative to the Canadian cement industry. We believe that this project is exactly in line with our mission of building better cities by lowering our carbon footprint, making use of local fuel supplies and creating local sustainable jobs,” said Bob Cartmel, president and chief executive officer in Eastern Canada for Lafarge Canada Inc.

According to figures released by Lafarge, the Canadian cement industry currently emits about 3.8 percent of the country’s CO2 emissions and about 30 to 40 percent of those emissions are from fossil fuel use. With the help of its partners, Lafarge Canada’s project will enable the Bath cement plant to use renewable, low carbon fuels that can be found locally, reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon Management Canada (CMC), a network of Centres of Excellence that supports research to reduce CO2 emissions, is providing a $400,000 grant over three years to a research team working on the project. Queen’s University will evaluate the life cycle benefits of low carbon fuels in the cement industry as well as in-depth validation of expected emission reductions.

“We will be measuring the impact of low carbon fuels in a real kiln, in a real plant, making real cement,” said Dr. Warren Mabee, director of Queen’s University Institute for Energy and Environmental Policy and lead investigator on the joint project with Lafarge Canada. “This project will give us a very good sense of how these fuels will perform in the real world.”

Natural Resources Canada is awarding $2.68 million to Lafarge Canada to construct a full-scale demonstration plant. Other project partners include Pollution Probe, WWF Canada, Queen's University, the Cement Association of Canada, Mesa Bioenergy, Scott Environmental, and Rail Link, a Metis company.

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