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Lafarge Canada fully commits to low-carbon cement at B.C. location

ECOPlanet low-carbon cement offers a 35 per cent reduction in emissions

IMAGE: Lafarge Canada

Lafarge Canada Inc. has converted all production at its Richmond, B.C. cement factory to ECOPlanet low-carbon cement, making it the first facility worldwide owned by parent company Holcim Group to make the transition.

Holcim says ECOPlanet cement offers a 35 per cent reduction in carbon emissions compared to typical Portland cement.

“This is a proud moment for our organization," Brad Kohl, president and CEO of Lafarge Canada (West), said in a statement. “This conversion in Lafarge’s Western Canada division highlights our strong commitment to accelerating green growth.

"As leaders in sustainable building solutions, we take pride in having a positive impact on building solutions across its lifecycle without compromising the quality and long-term durability of our products."

Lafarge and ECOPlanet

The production and application of cement is responsible for around seven per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions.

ECOPlanet cement was introduced by Lafarge in May 2021, and incorporates 20 per cent recycled construction and demolition waste. It is the global brand applied to low-carbon cements that emit no more than 400 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) per tonne. According to Lafarge, standard Portland cements typically emit upwards of 900 kilograms of CO2 per tonne.

In September of that year, Lafarge’s Kingston, Ont., plant also produced the first ECOPact zero-carbon concrete in Eastern Canada. It was also the first time the company used the ECOPlanet cement blend in the mix.

ECOPact is the other low-carbon brand, sold at a range of levels from 30 per cent to 100 per cent lower embedded carbon compared to standard concrete. 

The ECOPlanet cement is not Lafarge’s only low-carbon avenue. In March, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Progressive Planet Solutions Inc. to purchase all of the latter’s PozGlass 100G – a carbon-capturing cement additive – from Progressive Planet’s (PLAN-X) facility under construction in Kamloops, B.C.

Lafarge’s electrification efforts

Lafarge Canada is also deploying two VMC 1200 all-electric trucks, from Aldergrove, B.C.-based Vicinity Motor Corp., in its B.C. aggregates and ready-mix operations.

"The benefits of this electrification effort are twofold, delivering cost savings and contributing to a reduction in Scope 1 emissions on site,” Kohl said in a statement.

“Each VMC 1200 truck is estimated to reduce site emissions related to transportation by 6,200 tonnes of CO2 annually, showcasing Lafarge’s firm commitment to sustainability and its role in combating climate change.”

Additional VMC models are planned for integration into Lafarge’s fleet in 2024.

Vicinity (VMC-X) launched the VMC 1200 in October 2022, becoming the first Class 3 medium-duty electric truck manufactured in Canada. The truck uses lithium-ion batteries that provide 150 kilowatt-hours or power. With Level 2 charging it can go from about 20 per cent to 100 per cent in five to seven hours, and with Level 3 charging can accomplish that in 2.5 hours. It can travel 241 kilometres on a charge.

The VMC 1200 has a gross vehicle weight rating of 12,000 pounds.

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