Suez Cement has completed the trial period of using coal to run its Katameya factory and it is now the main source of fuel at the Egypt-based factory, chairman Omar Mohanna announced.
TheItalcementi group company is currently operating at 80 per cent of it 1.5Mta capacity compared to 50 per cent during times of natural gas supply shortages.
Mr Mohanna told AlMal that the energy mix at the Katameya factory consists of coal (85 per cent), industrial waste (10 per cent) and ordinary energy (five per cent).
The cost of converting the Katameya factory to coal was US$10m, in addition to the US$8m to raise the environmental standards of the factory, he added.
The company's cement plant in Suez will shortly follow suit and is expected to start using coal in January, according to Mr Mohanna. He anticipates that following the switch, capacity utilisation at the Suez works will be increased from 60 to 80 per cent.
Suez Cement will also start the planned 120MW windfarm after completing the technical study. Upon completion, the windfarm will supply 30-40 per cent of Suez Cement's energy needs by the end of 2015.