Eco Material and Cemex define Green Bond-rated investments

Our cover story subject has hit the ground running since its official launch from an early-2022, $775 million deal uniting Boral Resources, North American fly ash top gun, and Green Cement Inc., Texas-centric developer of PozzoSlag supplementary cementitious material and PozzoCem primary binder. 

We catch South Jordan, Utah-based Eco Material Technologies Inc. at an unfolding inflection point. In a span of 10 days to close out the first half the year, the company dedicated a 500,000 ton/year capacity finishing line for its newest product, Kirkland Natural Pozzolan. Officials then announced a record contract that will see extraction and treatment of up to 600,000 tons/year of ash impounded at one of the country’s largest coal-fired power generating stations. 

CEO Grant Quasha and President Keith Depew discuss how natural pozzolan production and ash harvesting will help Eco Material reach 10 million tons of SCM deliveries annually to concrete producers and heavy/civil contractors (pages 50-53). They cite a commitment to maintaining the Class F fly ash marketing and distribution flagship, while leveraging both charter business’ intellectual property to expand availability of materials meeting or besting ASTM C618 performance. Higher volume for Eco Material hinges on beneficiation of sub-C618 ash harvested from generating station landfills or ponds, along with output from new processing lines for PozzoSlag and PozzoCem. Those agents afford portland cement replacement in specification-grade concrete mixes at respective rates up to 60 percent and 100 percent. 

Eco Material was founded in late-2021 by Green Cement principals. Their mission of decarbonizing construction materials, starting with cement and concrete, weighed in charter investors’ financing of the Boral Resources acquisition. The ability of SCMs to offset the carbon dioxide emissions associated with portland cement production positioned Eco Material sponsors to float a $525 million green bond—a financing instrument abiding International Capital Markets Association (ICMA) guidelines.

“The [Eco Material-Boral Ltd.] transaction could contribute to the reduction of the carbon footprint of the cement industry,” observed Green bond and corporate Environmental, Social and Governance program rating service Sustainable Fitch. “The fly ash business generates additional environmental benefits and contributes to the circular economy as it repurposes a by-product of coal power plants that would otherwise be treated as waste. Furthermore, the company plans to harvest fly ash, thus clearing legacy landfills. In our view the green bond is aligned with the ‘eco-efficient and /or circular economy adapted products, production technologies and processes’ category of the [ICMA] Green Bond Principles.”

The Eco Material example dovetails last month’s announcement by Cemex S.A.B. de C.V. of a Green Financing Framework supporting Future in Action, a roadmap whose most immediate target is a 40 percent reduction in cement process emissions by 2030. The Framework enables Cemex to issue ICMA Green Bond Principles-aligned financing instruments. The producer intends to allocate net proceeds from such issuances to finance eligible carbon dioxide emissions reduction, clean electricity and energy efficiency, clean transportation, water and waste management, air quality and circular economy projects. Investors and other stakeholders can track environmental progress on the allocation of all financing instruments’ funds through an annual update. Investors are certain to take note of key Cemex performance indicators as progress thresholds help determine financing interest rates.

Cemex and Eco Material are demonstrating how environmental value propositions, backed by metrics-rich ratings service analyses, can steer climate-minded investors to green bonds or other instruments underwriting cement and concrete production of the future.