Sublime partnered closely with state and city administration and community organizations to ensure vast economic opportunities flowed from its commercial expansion in the city
SOMERVILLE, Mass.–Sublime Systems, developers of a fossil-fuel-free, scalable, drop-in replacement for traditional cement in concrete, announced it has secured the site for its first commercial manufacturing facility in Holyoke, Mass. after an extensive diligence period. The company has signed an agreement for 16 acres in the city’s Flats neighborhood on Water Street, on a property that formerly housed paper mills and is powered by Holyoke’s robust hydroelectric resources — critical infrastructure for Sublime’s fully electrified cement manufacturing process.
Sublime’s selection of Holyoke for its commercial expansion reflects the collaboration of its Mayor Joshua A. Garcia, the city’s Office of Planning and Economic Development under Director Aaron Vega’s leadership, the City Council, and Massachusetts’ Healey-Driscoll Administration. Collectively they recognized Sublime’s benefit to residents and Massachusetts’ burgeoning green manufacturing economy by awarding two critical incentives: a state tax credit from the Economic Development Incentive Program and local Tax Increment Financing from the City of Holyoke to offset property taxes. Sublime intends to create dozens of high-quality, benefits-bearing jobs throughout the construction and operations of its first commercial plant and has partnered closely with local community organizations and business development groups.
“The same qualities that made Holyoke a world-class industrial hub in the past perfectly position it to now be the home for clean tech manufacturing of the future,” said Sublime Systems CEO and Co-Founder Dr. Leah Ellis. “The Water Street site exemplifies that in its ample space, industrial zoning, access to renewable hydroelectricity, utilities, and even rail. We are grateful to the Garcia administration, City Council, and local community groups for welcoming us to Holyoke. We are committed to being a good neighbor that engages residents as we advance cement manufacturing technology that will clean up an industry that is one of today’s worst global emitters.”
Holyoke is colloquially referred to as The Paper City, having produced 80% of the United States’ writing paper in the late 19th century. It was established as a planned industrial community in tandem with the Holyoke Dam and has long employed migrants seeking a better life. Currently it is home to the world’s largest Puerto Rican population per capita outside of Puerto Rico. Like many former industrial powerhouses, today Holyoke continues to forge a new pathway after global forces caused a sharp decline in its manufacturing base during the mid-20th century.
“Sublime Systems’ low-carbon cement manufacturing project is not just a business development — it is a major stride towards the Holyoke we envision: innovative, prosperous, enterprising, and future-oriented,” said Holyoke Mayor Joshua A. Garcia. “By supporting this initiative, we are fostering a new paradigm where economic growth and the health of our planet are seen as interconnected and interdependent, not separate or mutually exclusive.”
Sublime used criteria such as proximity to headquarters, access to talent, renewable electricity supply, demographic indicators, and industrial permitting to identify possible first commercial locations. Guided by the federal Justice40 initiative tools designed to deliver public investment to disadvantaged communities, Sublime ultimately selected Holyoke because of the dual opportunity to help local people in the near-term while working towards swift and massive impact on global CO2 emissions. It sought the input of the Holyoke community to understand how to best do this, engaging early and often with groups like OneHolyoke Community Development Corporation (CDC).
“Our mission has always been to create vibrant Holyoke neighborhoods, and we are thrilled to partner with Sublime in a revitalization of the Flats that will show the nation that once-great industrial cities can lead the next clean energy transition – benefitting everyone from their closest residential neighborhoods to the entire planet’s population,” said One Holyoke CDC Executive Director Michael Moriarty.
Sublime expects to commission its Holyoke facility as soon as 2026 to produce tens of thousands of tons per year of its low-carbon Sublime Cement™, manufactured in a “true zero” approach without fossil fuels or decomposing limestone, the two major emissions sources of traditional high-polluting cement manufacturing. Sublime will use this plant to grow its customer base and fully de-risk its technology ahead of building a one-million-ton-per-year-capacity plant, the size of traditional cement manufacturing plants.
Sublime was born of the idea that increasingly reliable, abundant, and inexpensive renewable energy could be used to decarbonize the planet’s dirtiest industries. Holyoke’s abundant hydroelectric power was a major draw for the first commercial site, enabled by the Holyoke Dam and Canal system owned by Holyoke Gas & Electric, whose energy mix comprises over 90% renewable and carbon-free generators.
“Holyoke has a long history of welcoming folks who want to come here and build great things in our downtown, and Sublime’s proposal to build their first commercial plant in the Flats is yet another example of our past industrial greatness meeting our community’s present promise,” said Sublime Systems Project Development Manager Patrick Beaudry, a fourth generation Holyoke resident. “My sincerest hope is that Sublime’s investment in Holyoke’s downtown sends a signal to businesses in the Greater Boston research and development ecosystem — and ones like it across the globe — that if you are ready to grow your operations, look no further than the Commonwealth’s Gateway Cities.”
To learn more about Sublime’s Holyoke plans and how to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org. To inquire about reserving Sublime Cement™ produced at the facility, email email@example.com.
About Sublime Systems
Sublime Systems is on a mission to have a swift, massive, and enduring impact on global CO2 emissions by decarbonizing cement. Unlike net zero solutions that rely on carbon capture or credits, Sublime’s fully electrified, “true zero” approach avoids the industry’s legacy fossil-fueled kilns and limestone feedstock, which releases half its weight as CO2. Sublime’s electrochemical process instead extracts calcium and silicates from an abundance of raw materials at ambient temperature, to make ASTM C1157-compliant Sublime Cement™ as a drop-in replacement for ordinary portland cement in concrete. Sublime was founded at MIT by Dr. Leah Ellis and Prof. Yet-Ming Chiang, both respected experts in materials science, electrochemical systems, and sustainability research. The company has raised more than $50M from a leading consortium of climate tech investors, ARPA-E funding, and strategic investor Siam Cement Group, the largest cement producer in Southeast Asia. It currently operates a pilot plant with a >100-tonnes-per-year production capacity. Learn more at sublime-systems.com.
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