- The new Iris Ceramica Group plant in Castellarano (RE) will be equipped in 2022 with native technologies that will allow the use of green hydrogen in production processes
Milan — Iris Ceramica Group and Snam have signed a memorandum of understanding for an industrial project that involves the study and development of the first ceramic factory in the world powered by green hydrogen . The new Iris Ceramica Group plant will be built in Castellarano, in the province of Reggio Emilia, in the company’s production area of Via Radici Nord and will be equipped within the next year with native technologies that will allow the use of green hydrogen.
The industrial project was announced on Wednesday 29 September during the international event “The H2 Road to Net Zero” , organized by Bloomberg in collaboration with Snam and IRENA in Milan on the occasion of the pre-COP 26 works in which Federica took part. Minozzi, CEO of Iris Ceramica Group , as speaker in the session dedicated to the use of hydrogen in the energy transition.
“Green hydrogen – said Marco Alverà , CEO of Snam – is the ideal energy vector for decarbonising an energy-intensive industry such as that of ceramics, a sector in which our country has companies of international excellence. as Iris Ceramica Group. This collaboration, in addition to the initiatives we are pursuing in other sectors such as steel, glass and rail transport, is a first step towards the future in ceramic production at zero emissions of CO 2. Through our infrastructures and our technologies we want to contribute to enabling a national hydrogen supply chain to favor the achievement of national and European climate objectives and at the same time guarantee the competitiveness of our industry “.
Iris Ceramica Group indicates, once again, the future of the Ceramic District through the partnership with Snam. It was in fact thanks to the initiative of Iris Ceramica, and to the partnership created between the two companies, that already in the 1980s Snam brought the natural gas network to Sassuolo, an energy supply infrastructure which benefited the entire manufacturing sector. allowing the collective industrial development of what would become one of the most important industrial districts in the world.
“Our Group has always been driven by a strong innovative spirit and constant attention to environmental sustainability, often leading the way in the ceramic world, a highly energy-intensive industrial sector due to the type of production processes that are characterized by highly energy-intensive productions. . Within this manufacturing scenario, our actions have always been characterized by having followed the equation Economy = Ecology , coined already in the 1960s by my father Romano Minozzi, President and Founder of the Group , to indicate the way forward. path with a view to environmental sustainability ” – said Federica Minozzi , CEO of Iris Ceramica Group -. “We can proudly say that this equation has been translated with great concreteness of action over the years and the construction within the next year of the first ceramic factory in the world genetically conceived and designed to run on green hydrogen is a clear demonstration of this. industrial program is in addition to the various sustainable innovation projects created in 60 years of entrepreneurial activity “.
The solution developed by Iris Ceramica Group with the support of Snam will immediately allow the Castellarano factory to create ceramic surfaces created from a blend of green hydrogen, produced thanks to solar energy, and natural gas. A photovoltaic system (with a power of 2.5 MW) will be installed on the roof of the plant which will be combined with an electrolyser and a renewable hydrogen storage system produced on site. The use of a blend of green hydrogen with natural gas, instead of just gas, will allow the immediate reduction of CO 2 emissions and will pave the way, in the long term, to the exclusive use of renewable energy for production at zero emissions, being the plant designed for run on 100% hydrogen .
With this industrial project, Iris Ceramica Group and Snam confirm their commitment to promoting the energy transition, creating a virtuous example for the entire Ceramic District. The introduction of green hydrogen in production processes could be decisive for achieving the European goal of carbon neutrality by 2050.
The agreement will eventually be the subject of subsequent binding agreements that the parties will define in compliance with the applicable legislation and regulatory profiles.
As part of the transaction, Intesa Sanpaolo will act as advisor to Iris Ceramica Group to evaluate the best ways of accessing the latter to European funds and contributions for innovation.