Egypt: fuel supply problems cause Suez Cement to act

Egypt: fuel supply problems cause Suez Cement to act
Published: 07 November 2013


Suez Cement has turned to wind power to help it meet its energy needs. The project at Gulf El-Zeit is part of the government's objective to output 7000MW or 20 per cent of Egypt's energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. The Gulf El-Zeit initiative will be able to supply one third of the energy Suez Cement requires, but is unlikely to surpass this amount.

“The electricity supplied by the grid will be used in the crushing part, while in cooking you need flame and heat so electricity is not appropriate,” said Bruno Carré, Suez Cement's general manager.

“The grid is not a project that will guarantee the quantity of supply, but it guarantees that we are using renewable power and it is consistent with our sustainability strategy and helps with cost control,” he said.
Wind power is only part of the solution to a major problem that the company faces. A lack of sufficient gas supply represents one of the greatest challenges to Suez Cement’s operations in the Egyptian market, says Bruno Carré.

“We have offered solutions, entered into discussions with the authorities with the hope that through good dialogue and exchange of information, we might be able to look forward [to operating in the market],” Carré added.

He pointed out that the focus in Egypt is mainly on affordable products that can help in local housing projects. Such projects are efficient in terms of the manufacturing so that the company can minimise its energy consumption levels.

Suez Cement’s market share in the Egyptian market fell by five per cent last year to around 16 per cent  representing just under 50Mt of cement.

“Since 2010, the market has been going up and down by 3-5 per cent, while it used to grow by 10 per cent,” he said. “This is due to the financial crises and the political situation in the country.”