Messebo Cement shifts to biomass usage, Ethiopia

Messebo Cement shifts to biomass usage, Ethiopia
Published: 27 June 2014


Ethiopia-based Messebo Cement is establishing a biomass processing plant to help partly substitute imported coal usage in its manufacturing process, thereby reducing production costs.

The new facility, which is 90 per cent complete, will use hay from sesame produced at Humera in North Gonder, Amhara region, 902km northwest of Addis Ababa. Mesfin Engineering will undertake the civil work and electromechanical works under contract from APEC, according to Hagos Berehe, project coordinator at Messebo. APEC will handle the design, consulting, supply and operations aspects of establishing the plant. The hay will be transported 540km in bales for processing at the factory site. APEC will install the baling machines at the farm, where Messebo will have access to hay from a 20ha plot.

Messebo currently uses imported coal from South Africa as well as electricity as its main energy sources. “We are implementing a cost reduction strategy in addition to increasing productivity,” Getachew Equbay, chief executive officer of Messebo Cement, said.  The new biomass plant is expected to begin operations next month and will help the cement producer substitute 40 per cent of its energy usage with biomass.