French low-carbon cement firm launches first overseas plant in Saudi Arabia

Laying the foundation stone in Rabigh are, from left: Dr. Suliman Al Ghamdi, Muntaser Kalahji, Thomas Atkinson, Ahmed Al Bedaie, Jérôme Caron, Julien Blanchard, Alaaeldin Ragab, Haytham Almajed (Courtesy of Hoffman Green Cement)
In Saudi Arabia, construction has begun on the first overseas plant for Hoffmann Green Cement, a French start-up selling lower-carbon cement.

Founded in 2014 and with €6m in revenues last year, Hoffmann Green signed a 22-year licensing agreement with Saudi real estate conglomerate, the Shurfah Group, in September last year.

The deal sees Shurfah financing, building, and operating four Hoffmann Green plants over the period, with exclusive rights to sell the product in Saudi Arabia, currently in the midst of a construction boom.

The companies announced the ceremonial start of construction on the first plant in the Red Sea-coast city of Rabigh today.

They said it should be finished by the end of 2025.

Supported by the French government’s ‘French Tech 2030’ programme, Hoffmann Green says its cold manufacturing process makes 0%-clinker cement with a carbon footprint five times smaller than traditional cement.

It aims for circularity by using blast furnace slag from metals production, flash clay, gypsum and desulfogypsum.

It currently operates two production units powered by solar in Bournezeau, France.

It plans a third factory at the Grand Port of Dunkirk in 2025, which would give the company a total production capacity to 550,000 tons a year, some 3% of the French market.

Co-founders Julien Blanchard and David Hoffmann said laying the foundation stone in Rabigh “marks our international deployment”, and would support Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 initiative.

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