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LafargeHolcim Egypt steps up fuel transition

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World Cement,

LafargeHolcim Egypt’s use of domestic petcoke will triple by 2018 compared to 2014’s level, comprising 72% of the company’s fuel mix, the company said in a presentation at its capital markets day last year. Use of alternative fuels will also almost double to 24%.

The changes come as part of the company’s programme to transition to a cheaper and more flexible fuel mix.

In 2014, domestic petcoke comprised only 24% of the fuel mix, while alternative fuels were only 13% of the mix. Heavy fuel, meanwhile, accounted for 38% of the mix, while use of imported pekcoke was on par with that of the domestically-sourced variety and natural gas took a 24% share.

Changes are already underway, however, with domestic petcoke expected to account for 66% of the fuel mix in 2016. The company’s fuel bill is expected to fall by CHF60 million in FC2016.

By 2018, LafargeHolcim Egypt expects to have phased out use of imported petcoke altogether, as 96% of the fuel mix comes from domestic petcoke and alternative fuels. Natural gas and heavy fuels account for the remaining 4%.

The fuel transition has been made using an “asset light” approach, the company said, which has seen the conversion of existing cement mills rather than the purchase of new equipment, saving CHF30 million.

In addition to adding flexibility to the fuel mix and reducing costs, the fuel transition – and particularly the use of alternative fuels – also reduces the company’s exposure to US dollar denominated fuels, reducing risk further.

Last year a report by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, estimated the Egypt’s cement sector could save US$51 million annually by 2025 by transitioning to alternative fuels and reducing its reliance on traditional fossil fuels.

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