In its quest to replacing up to 80% of imported coal with alternative fuels by 2019, Ohorongo Cement together with a Namibia company, Metallurgical Research and Consulting CC (METRECO) are investigating the use of Tyre Derived Fuel (TDF). If successful, TDF will be the fourth alternative fuel source in the Ohorongo Cement alternative fuel mix. This is after the implementation of wood chips from encroacher bushes, charcoal fines and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF).
According to Camillo Shalli “The Sargberg plant is equipped to combust TDF with minimal risk to the environment while utilizing the energy reservoir contained in scrap tyres. Aiming to halt the practice of stockpiling, landfilling and uncontrolled tyre burning as a waste disposal method in Namibia, METRECO will collect and process scrap tyres, to produce a TDF product that can be used as a partial substitute for coal. In Ohorongo Cement we have found the ideal partner for this venture.”
Used tyres are typically considered waste in Namibia which ends up in backyards and landfills. This has led to many concerns related to pollution and health. That is why METRECO has invested resources and engaged Ohorongo Cement to consider the use of TDF to help protect Namibia’s ecological process and systems against pollution and contamination by tyre waste.
The cement factory is equipped with modern systems, which enable the company to use TDF, along with other alternative fuels to fire the kiln which is key process of cement manufacturing.
“With gas temperatures of up to 2000 Degree Celsius, the cement manufacturing process guarantees a complete combustion and destruction of all toxic substances resulting in no harmful emission and will not compromise the product quality,” says Hans-Wilhelm Schütte the Managing Director of Ohorongo Cement.
The use of TDF has multiple benefits, including less waste to landfills and river beds, employment creation as well as tremendous benefits for the environment as results of reduced fossil CO2 emissions. This can also assist in the reduction of fuel imports which can positively affect Namibia’s trade balance.
The two companies formerly started this venture in October 2017.
Several cement plants in Europe are already burning tyres successfully and have demonstrated that the overall environmental impact of using tyres in the fuel mix is reduced when compared with burning coal alone.