Suez Cement plant to switch to coal

Suez Cement plant to switch to coal
Published: 19 September 2014


Italcementi Group is looking to find a long-term solution to the fuel shortage problems it faces in Egypt with its subsidiary Suez Cement. Suez Cement needs to find a reliable fuel source for its cement plants to keep its 18 per cent of local cement sales. The Suez plant will use coal next November, while two of the group’s its other factories in Tora and Helwan will start in two years' time, said Suez Cement Co CEO, Omar Mehanna.

“We will begin using coal to generate energy for cement production cement in our Katameya factory by the end of this month in order to produce 3Mta,” he said.“The investment cost for factories to operate is valued at EGP500m (US$60.9m). One million BTUs of coal costs US$6, compared to US$17 for the same quantity of imported natural gas,” he added.

Wind energy also forms part of Italcementi’s energy plans in the region. Italgen, another part of the group, is in the process of acquiring the permits for the second phase for its wind energy park, Giuseppe De Beni, managing director of Italgen, told Daily News Egypt. Italgen became the first private investor to enter the Egyptian National Grid in June, when the Egyptian Electricity Transmission Company agreed to it building a wind energy park in the area of Gulf El-Zeit. De Beni said the first phase of the project will be completed by the end of the year.|

The investment in the project’s first phase amounts to EUR120-130m. It will equal an installed capacity of 120MW, and is expected to cover around 40 per cent of Suez Cement’s power needs. After the completion of the second phase, electrical energy is estimated to reach a capacity of 400MW. “We could be in operation by 2017,” De Beni said.