Alternative fuels to power cement’s future
Burning waste is not the first thing that comes to mind when making strides towards reducing a carbon footprint and emissions, but in the case of Boral’s cement production plant that is exactly the case.
Nestled in the Southern Highlands of NSW at Berrima, Boral’s coal-fired cement kiln has started replacing a proportion of its coal requirement with alternative fuels processed from waste materials that would otherwise go to landfill. Two fuel streams are being used at Berrima - a wood waste-based fuel (WWDF) derived from demolition timber, pallets and other waste wood sources and a residue derived fuel (RDF) processed from wood waste, and commercial waste such as papers, cardboard, packaging, and some plastics.
In a sustainable step forward, Boral paired with the NSW Environment Trust to build 2600-square-metre stockpile facility that has become the first project in the Trust’s innovative Waste Less, Recycle More initiative.
Using the alternative fuels will initially reduce coal consumption by 13 per cent and Boral expects to increase the load in coming years. At its peak, the Berrima kiln will be able to run up to 100,000 tonnes of alternative fuels a year, replacing around 50,000 tonnes of coal.
With the kiln presently requiring 200,000 tonnes of coal a year and emitting about 1.2 million tonnes of carbon emissions, the move will lessen the reliance on fossil fuels, substantially assist in reducing energy costs and therefore cost of production, increasing long-term viability of the site and contribution and employment of the local Berrima community.
Also, in becoming the end-user of waste products Boral is helping the reduce landfill issues in NSW.
The project is closely aligned with Boral’s business strategy that fosters sustainable environmental impacts, a commitment to Zero Harm, a focus on reducing greenhouse gas emissions from our operations, the efficient use of energy, minimising and recycling waste materials and energy, prevention of pollution, and effective use of virgin and recovered resources and supplemental materials.
Berrima’s alternative fuels facility became operational in July 2018.