Real Tech Fund invests in ceEntek, developing Ultra High-Performance Concrete from Carbon Nano Fiber
Singapore, SG / Tokyo, JP: We are pleased to announce that Real Tech Global Fund* operated by Realtech Holdings Co., Ltd. (location: Sumida-ku, Tokyo, representatives: Yukihiro Maru, Akihiko Nagata, hereinafter referred to as “our company”) invested in ceEntek Pte Ltd (hereinafter referred to as “ceEntek”).
As the demand for infrastructure renewal increases around the world, ceEntek is expected to play a major role in reducing CO2 emissions associated with the construction industry through building more resilient and sustainable infrastructure. The support from Real Tech Global Fund will facilitate ceEntek’s expansion into the Japanese market by promoting cooperation with operating companies and research institutes in Japan.
Dilemma of Aging Global Infrastructure and CO2 Emissions in Construction Sector
The world’s infrastructure is aging and countermeasures are urgently needed. The United States, decided to invest USD 1$ trillion in American infrastructure with USD 110$ billion of that investment being deployed to roads and bridges. It was also determined that approximately 2.3 million square meters of infrastructure will need to be rebuilt over the next 40 years. Over the next 20 years, more than 50 years would have passed since the construction of roads, bridges, tunnels, sewers, coastal areas, etc., which were built during the period of high economic growth in Japan.
On the other hand, concrete is the most used man-made material in the world with cement (key ingredient of concrete) widely accounted as one of the high polluting industries. Greenhouse gasses produced throughout the manufacturing of cement are said to account for 8% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions, which is about 30 times the scale of plastic. In recent years, the reduction of CO2 emissions attributed to the construction sector and the manufacturing of cement have been attracting attention. However, most of these developments are at the research and development stage, and no clear market leader has emerged. Especially in the Southeast Asian region there is a continuing shortage of technological development to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction sector despite high demand.
A new Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) that shatters conventional wisdom
ceEntek has been engaged in the development of hydrophilic Carbon Nano Fibers (CNFs) for the past 11 years. Based on its proprietary process of manufacturing these fibers, ceEntek developed a unique Carbon Nano Fiber (CNF) paste which accounts for less than 1% of its overall UHPC product by mass. This CNF paste has been remarked as a “secret admixture” which, when mixed with water, allows for homogeneous dispersion of CNFs within the concrete matrix. As a result, every cement particle becomes surrounded by ~8 individual CNFs, enhancing the tensile and flexural properties of the UHPC system.
↑CNF Paste prepared for shipment
Steel fibers, cement and silica fume are the materials that have the greatest environmental impact in the Ultra-High Performance Concrete (UHPC) refining process. By using by-products from the blast-furnaces (GGBS) and its CNF, ceEntek was able to produce a next frontier of UHPC (UHPC2.0™) that does not use silica fume and has a lower cement & steel fiber content compared to its predecessors. At the same time, UHPC2.0™ has many superior mechanical properties such as tensile strength, modulus of elasticity, shrinkage, water absorption, and durability. The bulk of ceEntek’s system (~99%) is blended with locally sourced raw materials (i.e. sand, cement etc.) across the world in close proximity to construction sites, helping to reduce both costs and CO2 emissions associated with transportation of these Ultra High Performance Concretes. As a result, UHPC2.0™ reduces CO2 emissions associated with construction sector while enhancing the mechanical properties of its concrete which leads to many benefits such as reducing projects’ costs, shortening of the construction time, extending the life of structures, and prolonging the meantime between repairs.
Historically, Japanese infrastructure suffered greatly due to natural disasters and seismic exposures. The Japan construction market has faced and will face unique challenges due to its geographic location. The newly formed relationship with Real Tech will allow ceEntek to accelerate the spread of its innovative UHPC2.0™ technology and products to support Japanese infrastructure in the coming years. Real Tech and ceEntek look forward to jointly overcoming hurdles such as material certification and relationship building within the Japan construction market.
ceEntek Pte Ltd started operations in Singapore in 2011 with the target to develop, produce and market Carbon Nano Fibers (CNF) enhanced UHPC solutions (UHPC 2.0™). On this basis a family of UHPC and Lightweight / High-Strength concrete products were developed for a broad range of applications including bridge/road repair, offshore/windfarm grouting, sewage and water treatment plants, protective coatings, two- and three- dimensional pre-cast elements and many others. ceEntek has also been ranked at the top of the Important Key Players category (alongside TAKTL, Lafarge, and Sika AG) within the Global UHPC Market by MarketWatch for 4 years in the row (2018-2022) and awarded the ‘Leading Expert in UHPC Developer – Singapore’ in the 2020 Construction & Engineering Awards category by BUILD magazine.
Contact for ceEntek: Val Iukin, Vice President, Corporate Development & Strategy, email@example.com
About Real Tech Fund:
Real Tech Fund is a venture capital fund established jointly by Euglena, Leave a Nest, and SMBC Nikko Securities, companies which have the experience of leading technology-based startups to success. We promote the social implementation of real tech and endeavor to resolve various problems pertaining to earth and humanity by providing support to startups (Realtech startups) with innovative technology that contributes to the solution of the problems. We support Realtech startups from before their establishment to the social implementation of their technologies, offering them the expertise and knowhow that each founding company has acquired over the years.
Contact for Realtech Global Fund: Daiki Kumamoto, Growth Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
About Real Tech Holdings:
Real Tech Holdings is a joint venture between euglena Co.,Ltd ( https://www.euglena.jp/ ) and Leave a Nest Co., Ltd. ( https://lne.st/ ). It supports change makers who give their heart and soul to solve societal and environmental challenges. Real Tech Holding’s manages Real Tech Fund, Japan’s leading deep-tech focused venture capital fund.
Contact for Realtech Global Fund:
Shinya Narita, PR Booster email@example.com
*Official name: “Real Tech Global Fund Investment Partnership 1”