Waste tyres: Cost effective fuel for cement kilns

REDISA is proving that the use of alternative fuels in cement manufacturing makes good business sense for the industry – while remediating the environment of waste tyres

Key players in the cement industry are currently receiving waste tyres for use in cement kilns from REDISA (the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa).

REDISA is the Plan approved by the Department of Environmental Affairs to clean the country of tyre waste, and is the first legislated Plan globally to deal with an environmental problem.

Waste tyres supplied by REDISA can be utilised as a substitute (through co-processing) for up to 20% of current coal usage. At PPC, indications are that waste tyres will replace 10% of coal usage at its De Hoek plant alone.

Johan Vorster, General Manager – PPC De Hoek says “Energy scarcity in the Western Cape is one of the reasons why high energy users look into the use of alternative fuels. The co-processing of waste in cement kilns not only reduces cost, but also reduces carbon emissions from cement manufacture and reduces the need for non-renewable energy.”

Natal Portland Cement (NPC- InterCement), AfriSam and La Farge are also in support of the substitution, and are currently engaging with REDISA on how the supply of waste tyres for controlled burning in kilns can reduce the overhead costs of coal.

NPC’s Simuma plant in Port Shepstone is one strategic partner working with REDISA. Giovanni Lodetti, Industrial Director, said “Partnering with professional, like minded, solution based organisations is something that we believe is imperative to tackle the issue of waste in South Africa. Co-processing of waste tyres for the cement manufacturing process is one way in which the industry can make its mark in terms of reducing the amount of waste tyres in the environment.”

According to Angus Towell, General Manager of AfriSam’s Ulco Cement operation, working with REDISA has made the shift from coal to waste tyres easier. “This is mainly because the tyre delivery system is well coordinated and we know in advance when our delivery will be made and how many tonnes we will receive, therefore making planning easier. In addition we have found that REDISA is always looking for a ‘win win’ scenario which is ultimately better for all parties involved.”

The ecological benefits of replacing coal with waste tyres as an energy source include conserving resources and reducing waste disposal requirements. The benefit of using waste tyres also means that “additional new business operations can be established and the use of the tyres saves fossil fuels,” said Towell.

According to REDISA CEO Hermann Erdmann, “Given that the world will be home to 5 billion middle class consumers within the next 20 years, natural resources are being placed under increasing stress to meet housing, product and lifestyle demands. To reduce this pressure, REDISA has realised that waste should be looked at differently; not as waste, but as something with value.

It is commendable that the country’s cement industry is realising the value in waste tyres as a fuel source, thereby reducing the necessity of using coal.”

In South Africa REDISA is using this solution to not only clear the environment of waste tyres, but also to lend a helping hand to cement kilns and find a viable solution aimed at reducing rising costs.

Source: African Environment


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Huge opportunities in Africa’s construction sector

The World Population Bureau estimates that the population of Africa will rise from 1.1 billion in 2013 to 2.4 billion in 2050. This means that most of the continent’s economies will have to double in size in the next 36 years.

If that is to happen, then the stock of Africa’s infrastructure assets, including all of its residential, industrial and commercial buildings and power, transport and sanitation systems, will have to double in size. In other words Africa will have to be built again in a single generation.

This will require unthinkable amounts of cement, building materials, construction planning, manpower, products and services to accomplish such a momentous task. And, for this reason, infrastructure investment is providing the platform for the strong economic growth trends that will pave the way for businesses, to explore a number of exciting commercial and business development opportunities in Africa’s construction sector.

The African Construction and Totally Concrete Conferences and Expos will be returning to the Sandton Convention Centre, between 12 and 14 May 2015. These platforms not only facilitate open dialogue but provide a unique opportunity for a diverse group of professionals involved in the transformation and development of the African construction, cement and concrete industries to network, share knowledge, best practices and the latest thinking.

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The audience comprises 600 – 700 key decision-makers from Africa’s construction, cement and concrete industries who attend the conference; and over 6000 mid-to-senior level executives who visit the expo. Over 200 companies will display their products and services in the first ever 3 story expo in Africa!

“For 2015, we’re creating five unique experiences to culminate into Africa’s biggest gathering of qualified buyers and sellers for the entire cement, concrete and construction industry value chain which includes African Construction Expo, Totally Concrete Expo, Coatings for Africa, Housing for Africa and African Roads Evolution, together all 5 conferences and expos will tell the story of shaping the future of Africa’s cement, concrete and construction industries value chain.” Says Soren du Preez, 2015 Programme Director.

Over 170 speakers will present contents in a variety of formats and cover topics as diverse as 3D printing, mega-project development, self-healing concrete, pavement design, enterprise development and investment in infrastructure.

“Our stimulating conference programme pushes innovation in format delivery! We have reliably built an interactive, participant-led experience leveraging expertise and experience to create a conference that you want to be at and actively participate in!” says Du Preez.

Registration and additional information can be found at

Resource: African Environment