CEMBUREAU raises concerns over FAR's alternative hydraulic binder definition

CEMBUREAU raises concerns over FAR’s alternative hydraulic binder definition

The European Commission has introduced a Draft Guidance document regarding the Free Allocation Regulation (FAR), now expanded to include ‘alternative hydraulic binders’ within the cement clinker benchmark. To qualify for allocation under this benchmark, these binders must meet three specific criteria: they must be used in cement production, not be included in any other benchmark under the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), and must not be by-products of waste or other production processes.

The European Cement Association (CEMBUREAU) has expressed concerns regarding these criteria. Namely, that the proposed changes suggest a shift from a clinker to a cement-based benchmark approach, making current methodologies and regulations inconsistent and impractical, especially as cement production often occurs outside ETS-covered sites. CEMBUREAU also states that some materials like pozzolana and calcined clay, requiring activation by lime or grey cement clinker, do not fit the hydraulic binder definition. Lastly, the association suggests that only materials covered by the standard EN 197-1 should be considered as alternative hydraulic binders, implying that the current definition in the FAR is overly broad and potentially problematic.