Seddiq Hassani, Bamburi Cement, explains how green energy is being utilised to eliminate the company’s carbon footprint.
In February of this year, Bamburi Cement PLC, the East African subsidiary of Holcim, in partnership with MOMNAI Energy Limited announced plans to set up two solar plants; one at its Nairobi grinding plant and the other at the Mombasa plant, which will see the cement producer cut its electricity cost by up to 40%.
Scheduled to begin towards the end of 2022, and with completion expected within a year, the project will enable Bamburi Cement to harness green energy from the sun while simultaneously cutting its power costs and as it seeks to streamline its operations towards industrial sustainability.
If industry trends are anything to go by, this move is not unique to Bamburi Cement. The rapid growth of solar power with its cost reduction offering has compelled businesses to modify their energy consumption mix, as more and more industrial units are opting for distributed power generation to ensure reliability and reduce costs, as well as cutting down on CO2 emissions.
Integration of green energy
Cement production is one of the most energy-intensive industries worldwide. Energy in the form of electricity is a necessity for running both grinding and integrated cement plant operations. Currently, 25% of Bamburi Cement’s manufacturing costs are due to electricity alone, making the company one of the leading consumers of electricity in Kenya.
A Nairobi Securities Exchange (NSE) listed manufacturer, aside from its cement operations in Kenya, Bamburi also has a precast and ready mix concrete subsidiary, Bamburi Special Products, and its environmental rehabilitation and conservation arm Lafarge Eco Systems. The company also has independent operations in Uganda through Hima Cement which operates three cement plants in Kasese, Tororo and Namanve.
Aligned to Holcim’s, ‘Net Zero Ambition’ and in support of Kenya’s Government Pledge to reduce emissions, Bamburi Cement’s shift to green energy is part of this vigorous strategy on sustainable manufacturing and related processes, under scope 1 and 2 emissions. The company continues to optimise existing technologies to operate with high efficiency, maximising the use of waste-derived fuels and a reducing the clinker factor.
Over the last 10 years, the company’s sustainability plans under scope 1 emissions, have seen it substitute heavy fuels consumption in its operations with alternatives like biomass including rice husks and other waste material such as waste oil and tyres – reaching a thermal heat substitution rate (TSR) of over 90% at its Nairobi Grinding Plant, and 10% at its Mombasa Plant.
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