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First coal shipment for Ohorongo Cement

World Cement,

Ohorongo Cement, Nambia’s only cement manufacturer, recently took delivery of 30 000 t of coal from Maputo in Mozambique. It was the company’s first assignment of coal as the cement plant gears up to begin production. It is expected to require approximately 70 000 t of coal during its first year of operation. The company’s plant manager, Dr Jürgen Hilger confirmed that construction work on the plant is almost complete. Managing Director Hans-Wilhelm Schütte is already looking at ways to replace the coal with alternative fuels (AFs). In fact it was always in the plan for AFs to replace coal, and at present the company is investigating the use of wood chips from invader bush as a replacement. Schütte said, “To confirm that the plant is running at the performance specified by the main contractor Polysius, during the first six to twelve months of operation we will only use pure coal in the kiln. After that, we plan to follow the example of our mother company (Schwenk Zement KG) who has replaced more than 80% of coal with alternative fuels such as plastics, municipal waste and animal carcasses”.

Tobias Konzmann, project manager of the AF project pointed out that by using invader bush instead of importing expensive coal, a local resource would be utilised. In addition, a further important advantage of harvesting wood chips is that Ohorongo might just have found a sustainable solution to bush encroachment in Namibia.

Ohorongo Cement claims that its N$2.5 billion plant, located between Tsumeb and Otavi in Northern Nambia, is the most modern in Africa and will have least impact on the environment. Through the application of best available technology, the plant uses 30% less electricity than traditional plants, with minimal dust emissions and significantly reduced water consumption.

The plant is expected to produce 700 000 t of cement during the first year of production.

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