Cemex Ventures increases stake in transformational low-cost, zero-emission hydrogen startup

Source: www.gulfoilandgas.com 12/19/2023, Location: Europe

Cemex Ventures, Cemex’s corporate venture capital (CVC) and open innovation unit, has increased its stake in HiiROC, a world leading startup with a novel proprietary process for low-cost, zero emission hydrogen production. Hydrogen is a high-potential energy solution for the construction industry as a whole and for the cement sector in particular, that when used, significantly reduces the industry’s dependence on fossil fuels and reduce CO2 emissions with a breakthrough approach.

Founded in 2019, HiiROC is a UK-based startup that produces cost-competitive and zero-emission hydrogen through its proprietary process of thermal plasma electrolysis. While hydrogen is becoming an increasingly promising alternative energy source and feedstock for a wide and diverse set of industrial processes, existing solutions are traditionally either high emission or high cost. Alternatively, HiiROC’s technology stands out producing high grade hydrogen that requires a fraction of the energy consumed by water electrolysis, and avoids the need for intensive Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS) methods required for traditional steam methane reforming. Furthermore, HiiROC’s production units are modular and scalable, use no water, and carbon black, a co-product of the hydrogen production process, becomes an additional area of opportunity to further decarbonize heavy industries.

"This news comes at a critical moment when COP28 has brought the world together to address and refocus the climate agenda and buckle down on the responsibility of governments and private corporations to deliver on their decarbonization objectives ahead of 2030”, said Gonzalo Galindo, Head of Cemex Ventures. “With our increased investment in HiiROC, we are especially proud to be #1 in the use of hydrogen in the cement sector and are committed to keep scouting new ways to deploy hydrogen at a grand scale at Cemex’s 60 cement and grinding plants.”

Through its corporate venture capital arm, Cemex initially invested in the breakthrough startup in 2022 and is planning large-scale deployment of HiiROC’s thermal plasma technology to reduce its consumption of fossil fuels and help decarbonize its operations. With this strategic partnership, Cemex intends to initially increase its hydrogen injection capacity at its crucial cement plant at Rugby, United Kingdom and expects to eventually deploy HiiROC’s technology gradually across its EMEA operations.

One of Cemex’s end-products, ready-mix concrete, is the most used man-made material world and plays an essential role in the development of societies and the built environment, which is why the company has a clear path to contribute to climate change mitigation and the reduction of CO2 emissions. By investing in sustainable solutions and partnering with revolutionary startups, it aims to become a net-zero CO2 company by 2050 as set out by its Future in Action program.


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