Low-carbon Alternative for Cement Production Receives Financing

Terra CO2 Technology, the scalable low carbon alternative for cement production, has announced the closing of a $46M Series A financing round led by Bill Gates-founded Breakthrough Energy Ventures (BEV), and LENx. BEV is an investor-led fund that aims to build the new, cutting-edge companies that will lead the world to net-zero emissions. LENx drives technology, innovation, and strategic investments for Lennar, one of the nation’s leading home builders. Others participating in the round include Creative Ventures, and Rio Tinto.

Terra’s technology offers the most commercially advanced path for decarbonizing the built environment. Concrete, used for construction, is the world’s second most-used material after water. The production of cement, the material used as a binder in concrete, is estimated to produce 8 percent of the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide. Terra’s innovative material science technology makes low-carbon concrete possible by creating cementitious materials from a wide variety of abundant local feedstocks and even waste products, dramatically reducing cement’s GHG emissions. Terra’s proprietary solution produces 70 percent lower CO2 emissions than the Portland cement it replaces.

“Cement production is one of the largest contributors to carbon emissions globally, presenting an immediate need for a high-quality, low-CO2 alternative that won’t disrupt our supply chains or current infrastructures,” says Carmichael Roberts, BEV. “Terra’s technology has unlocked just that, creating a new method of production that will deliver more sustainable alternative cement without compromising performance or quality.”

This is the second investment in Terra CO2 Technology by BEV, following a Seed funding round in November 2020. This round brings Terra’s total funding raised to $61M.

Terra will use the funds to accelerate research and development in low-carbon material science, scale the organization, and continue commercializing plant technology that will support the manufacturing of its future products, including OPUS SCM (Supplementary Cementitious Material), and OPUS BCM (Blended Cementitious Materials), Terra’s first commercial products.

“Terra’s technology is unique in its ability to produce the same consistent product from a growing menu of silicate type feedstocks, the most common rock on the earth’s surface,” says Bill Yearsley, president and CEO at Terra CO2. “Scalable, easily available, and cheap feedstocks are essential for any new product looking to bring more environmentally friendly cost-competitive solutions to this market. Most of the alternatives to Portland cement being tested today are limited by using one specific feedstock that is often not widely available near urban markets or that requires permitting new mines to source. Terra’s solutions not only solve for that scalability bottleneck, but also offer an alternative that is cost-effective.”

Terra currently has two pilot plants in operation, with plans to break ground on its first commercial plant in 2023; capable of producing 250,000 tons of product annually. Third-party laboratories, including WesTest, a subsidiary of Atlas, and Braun Intertec, have tested and validated Terra’s materials. OPUS SCM has proven to perform as well as traditional supplementary cementitious materials. Concrete made with OPUS materials mixes and handles comparably to traditional cementitious materials, facilitating its adoption in the construction industry.

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