Daily News

Sublime Systems Awarded $87 Million by Department of Energy

SPRINGFIELD — As part of a $6.3 billion initiative funding 33 projects across 20 states, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that Sublime Systems in Holyoke will receive $87 million in federal funding from its Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations and its Industrial Demonstrations Program.

Sublime Systems plans to build a new, ultra-low-carbon cement manufacturing facility in Holyoke. The company’s new method to make cement, detailed in the March 4 issue of BusinessWest (click here), replaces carbon-intensive limestone with abundant calcium-silicate-based feedstocks, resulting in industry-standard cement that is produced electrochemically instead of using high heat.

By demonstrating this transformational process that was previously supported by ARPA-E, Sublime aims to strengthen American supply chains for low-carbon products, increase transparency for product environmental impact and performance, and catalyze industry-wide change.

“I am thrilled that Sublime Systems has been named the recipient of federal funding under the Department of Energy’s Industrial Demonstrations Program,” U.S. Rep. Richard Neal said. “This funding will play a critical role in accelerating the construction of Sublime’s first commercial manufacturing plant in Holyoke, an investment that will spur significant economic opportunity in the Paper City and throughout Western and Central Massachusetts.”

The Industrial Demonstrations Program is a $6.3 billion initiative funded by the Inflation Reduction Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. The program invests in decarbonization projects in energy-intensive industries, providing American manufacturers a competitive advantage to help position the U.S. at the forefront of the race toward low- and net-zero carbon manufacturing, Neal noted. Click here for a list of award recipients and descriptions of their projects.

The Sublime project expects to create 70 to 90 permanent manufacturing jobs in a community that once produced nearly all of the country’s writing paper but has seen a decline in industry over the 20th century.

Sublime Systems and the United Steelworkers have signed a strategic partnership agreement supporting Sublime employees’ right to organize at the Holyoke factory. The company has also signed memoranda of understanding to negotiate project labor agreements with the region’s building trade unions.

Sublime Systems also plans to support the Holyoke K-12 education system through curriculum enhancement and teacher support in partnership with the Smithsonian Science Education Center and facilitate a long-term training pipeline for Holyoke and the broader Pioneer Valley.