Final investment decision reached
on innovative technology demonstration project to slash CO2 emissions from cement and lime sectors.
Pilot Plant 3D Model

Processing 10 tonnes of cement meal an hour, and integrated into Heidelberg Cement's cement plant in Belgium, the pilot plant is anticipated to start operations late next year.

Pilot Plant 3D Model Close-up


LEILAC (Low Emissions Intensity Lime And Cement) will pilot a breakthrough technology that has the potential to enable both Europe’s cement and lime industries to reduce their emissions dramatically while retaining, or even increasing international competitiveness.

The best available technologies for cement and lime have no carbon capture capability.  The international and EU community recognises that CO2 emissions contribute to climate change, and the most practical approach to reducing such emissions to-date for the cement and lime industries has been to increase kiln efficiencies and utilise alternative fuels. 

The Low Emissions Intensity Lime & Cement (LEILAC) consortium today announced that the pioneering carbon capture project, which aims to validate Calix’s innovative Direct Separation technology in the cement and lime sector, has taken a significant step forward as it successfully completes the Front End Engineering Design (FEED) study for the pilot plant.  

This important milestone was reached on schedule and marked the Final Investment Decision (FID) for the project, which can now enter into the Engineering Procurement and Construction phase. The pilot plant will be integrated into HeidelbergCement’s cement plant at Lixhe, Belgium and is anticipated to commence operation in early 2019.


The five-year LEILAC project, supported by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme, aims to apply Calix’s  technology to cement and lime applications, and validate the resulting process demands and performance. Over two years the pilot will process 10 tonnes of lime, or 8 tonnes of cement meal, per hour to demonstrate the performance of the technology in a standard operational environment.


Once proven, and scaled up to apply to a full size production plant, this technology should enable both the cement and lime industries to capture their unavoidable process carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions for minimal energy penalty and at comparable capital costs to conventional equipment.


Since the project commenced in 2016, a number of research, development, design evaluation and performance studies have been successfully undertaken for the pilot plant, with the aim of reducing the major scale-up risks. In addition to developing a workable solution, which achieves the project’s objectives, costs for the pilot’s construction have been evaluated to within a ±15% level of accuracy.


Health and Safety considerations remain a core pillar of the LEILAC consortium and full Hazard and Environment studies, with outputs feeding into the design of the LEILAC plant, have been completed. Governance procedures and protocols have been put in place and are operating effectively, and engagement with the local community around the Lixhe plant is underway.          


Phil Hodgson, Calix MD and CEO and Chairman of the LEILAC Executive Board commented:

Thanks to the dedication, professionalism and collaboration between all of the consortium partners, the LEILAC project is pleased to announce its decision to pass its FID and enter the final phase of design and construction of its pilot. This marks a significant stage in the technology’s development, and it is with great anticipation that we look forward to realising the successful construction and validation of the LEILAC pilot plant.” 


The consortium is led by technology provider Calix, and comprises HeidelbergCement, CEMEX, Tarmac, Lhoist, Amec Foster Wheeler, ECN, Imperial College, PSE, Quantis and the Carbon Trust. It is supported by CEMBUREAU, ECRA, and EuLA. The project aims to apply and demonstrate a breakthrough technology that will enable Europe’s cement and lime industries to reduce their carbon footprint significantly.


In addition to the H2020 grant, the consortium is contributing €9 million towards the project. 


Due to the interest already expressed in pilot, a visitor centre has been opened ahead of plan.

To visit the site, and for all media enquiries contact Ainslie Macleod on