Ethiopian cement plants encouraged to turn to biomass

Ethiopian cement plants encouraged to turn to biomass
17 July 2019

The Ethiopian government hopes that more cement plants will consider replacing their coal imports with locally-produced biomass to reduce foreign currency spending and cut carbon emissions.

Many of Ethiopia's 17 factories import coal from South Africa at a cost of US$220m annually. The  CCIIDD is working with the cement industry to replace foreign coal with local biomass. "If we can replace 40 per cent of the coal with the biomass, we can save up to US$88m per year," said Samuel Healala, director general of the Chemicals and Construction Inputs Industry Development Institute (CCIID).

"This is part of the government's initiative to reduce carbon emissions by 2025," said State Minister of Trade and Industry, Yohannes Dinkaye. The Minister added that the move towards biomass will face challenges. "It will require a huge investment and vast land. We are looking at whether the cement factories themselves would invest in  biomass production or other investors would venture into the business," he said.

The CCIID has selected the Afar region for farming the biomass blocks for the cement industry with funding from the European Union secured. The wild weed called 'Prophecies Newfora' will be processed into biomass.

Dangote Cement and Habesha Cement have already been using biomass and locally-mined coal, said Mr Dinkayehu.

Published under Cement News