Cemex and international recycling and waste management company SUEZ have launched a new Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) facility which will supply the Rugby cement plant in the UK with high-specification alternative fuel for the next 25 years.
Fernando A Gonzalez, CEO of Cemex and Jean-Marc Boursier, senior executive VP of SUEZ in charge of the Recycling and Waste Recovery division for Europe, along with Richard Dodd, Mayor of Rugby, officially opened the new facility on Friday.
The SRF facility, owned and operated by SUEZ, will supply Rugby with an alternative fuel manufactured using nothing but regionally-sourced waste from across Warwickshire, Northamptonshire and the wider Midlands area. The fuel, known as Climafuel®, replaces traditional coal as an energy supply and SUEZ will supply Cemex with a total of up to 240,000tpa of the fuel to help meet the significant energy needs of the Cemex plant and improve its environmental performance. The Rugby SRF facility will produce up to 200,000tpa for Cemex's Rugby cement plant, with the balance of around 40,000tpa produced from SUEZ’s SRF plant in Landor Street in nearby Birmingham.
The Rugby Solid Recovered Fuel Facility was built as part of a 25-year contract between SUEZ and Cemex, signed in 2012 and understood to be the first of its kind with this duration in the UK outside of the PFI mechanism. Through the partnership between the two companies, SUEZ leased land opposite the kiln from Cemex in 2013, and construction of the GBP18m fuel facility began in 2014. Commissioning of the process equipment took place earlier this year.
The SRF facility can process up to 300,000tpa of residual waste and around 70 per cent of the input material comes from businesses in the region, while the remaining 30 per cent is household waste, much of it originating from Northamptonshire County Council. The majority of this waste would otherwise be destined for landfill but the SRF manufacturing process enables SUEZ to extract recyclable materials, such as plastics, card and metals, which any other way would be too contaminated to viably recycle.
Mr Gonzalez said: “This long term partnership with SUEZ in the UK reinforces one of the main drivers of our strategy: ensuring that sustainability is fully embedded in every aspect of our business. In our global cement operations in 2014, we had reduced our specific net CO2 emissions by around 23 per cent compared to our 1990 baseline, mainly thanks to the continuous implementation of alternative fuel use in our plants. More than 90 per cent of our active cement plants consume alternative fuels, with nine of them having surpassed a 50 per cent alternative fuel rate and five exceeding 65 per cent last year."
Mr Boursier also commented: “We are very pleased to officially open the Rugby Solid Recovered Fuel Facility and formally mark the start of this long term partnership between SUEZ and Cemex. At present, SUEZ is investing considerably in infrastructure to produce sustainable industrial fuels in the United Kingdom. With the 240,000t of SRF produced by this site, the group now supplies 1.1Mt of SRF worldwide.”