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Assessment of transition pathways for the Nigerian cement sector

Panel: 6. Deep decarbonisation of industry

This is a peer-reviewed paper.

Maria Yetano Roche, Wuppertal Institut for Climate Environment and Energy, Germany


Nigeria is Africa’s top clinker and cement producer and could be on course to be one of the top ten producers globally. Over the last two decades, the country’s cement industry has grown from being a net importer to a net exporter and is currently booming. Given population and urbanisation rates, rapid ramping up of investment and capacity is foreseen. There are strong risks of locking-in outdated technology into long-term investments. Cement production currently accounts for 8 % of the world’s carbon emissions and is considered to be one of the six “hard-to-abate” sectors. But reaching net-zero emissions in the cement sector by mid-century is possible by combining three major decarbonisation routes: (1) Energy efficiency; (2) Demand management and (3) Decarbonisation technologies (including fuel/feedstock switching, process change and carbon capture). Drawing from an assessment of these three options, we build two bottom-up scenarios for production of cement and three pathways for emissions from the sector up to 2040. These transition scenarios illustrate the impact of deploying the various options. The results indicate that emissions could be between 2.5 and 4 times higher in 2040 than in 2015. The production scenario with faster growth assumptions has around 30 % higher emission levels than the production scenario following the urbanisation growth rate. By 2040 the differences between an ambitious decarbonisation pathway and a business-as-usual pathway are around 11 % in each of the production scenarios. This is an exploratory study and its results are preliminary.

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