The International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, has released a report that examines alternative options for Egypt’s cement producers to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
The paper, dubbed Unlocking Value: Alternative Fuels for Egypt’s Cement Industry, states that the country’s cement producers could save money and also lower greenhouse gas emissions if they use waste, to power their production facilities.
These alternative fuels include municipal solid waste, agricultural waste, sewage, and old tires.
Increased use of these wastes as fuel could help save the industry $51 million annually by 2025 and reduce reliance on traditional fossil fuels, the report says.
By 2025, the study suggests, alternative fuels could replace about 1.9 million tonnes of coal and prevent the release of 3.9 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.
Ramon Piza, President of CEMEX Egypt said: “Egypt is executing a wide array of initiatives to provide new sources of energy.
“We believe that all sectors, public and private, should collaborate and join forces to facilitate the usage of alternative fuel to further support these initiatives and help reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”
The IFC noted that this study comes amid a nationwide shortage of natural gas, where a growing number of cement producers that have turned to coal and petcoke to power their plants.
Dangers of Carbon dioxide
According to the finance institution, by 2025 the energy sector will use about 9.7 million tonnes of coal per year, which alone will produce 27 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, posing health and environmental challenges for Egypt.
“Integrating alternative fuels into the energy mix brings with it significant public and private benefits,” IFC energy and resource efficiency regional lead for the Middle East and North Africa, Bryanne Tait said.
Tait added: “It’s important for countries like Egypt to begin reducing their emissions, and alternative fuels are an ideal way to do that as they represent an untapped local source of energy security and hold economic profitability for the country.”
The study also found that several obstacles prevent cement producers from using alternative fuels, including the lack of a well-established supply chain that would collect, process, and deliver waste to cement plants.
The report was supported by the governments of Denmark and Italy, the Korea Green Growth Trust Fund, and the Earth Fund Platform.