Qalaa brings renewable energy solution to Ethiopian cement maker
KAMPALA, MARCH 10- Qalaa Holdings solid waste recycling subsidiary ECARU, has signed a US$ 50 million contract with Ethiopian cement maker Messebo that could potentially shift the cost dynamics of cement manufacture in the region. ECARU will supply a system that will convert 100,000 tons of biomass annually into energy to fire Messebo’s kilns.
The biomass will gradually replace coal in the production process bringing significant cost savings. According to the agreement ECARU will be a technology and service provider responsible for collecting, transporting and processing local Biomass into an environmentally friendly alternative solid fuel.
“Biomass is a renewable, carbon neutral energy source that comes from agricultural residues that would otherwise be openly burned. This waste to energy solution for heavy industries such as cement manufacturing is beneficial on multiple fronts. It helps nations solve their Biomass challenges, it reduces emissions that come from burning fossil fuels such as fuel oil, natural gas and coal, and it is a more cost-efficient and sustainable source of energy,” says ECARU Ceo Dr. Hisham Sherif.
ECARU has been supplying alternative Solid fuel, Biomass, as a source of energy to Egypt’s leading cement companies for the past five years.
The contract with Messebo Cement, with a production capacity of 2 million tons of cement per annum, should be of interest to cement makers in East Africa as Ethiopia gradually gets into the regional market through COMESA and the Northern Corridor Integration Projects.
As Addis moves to lower energy costs for its manufacturers, Ugandan cement makers are still dependent on furnace oil and expensive electricity in their production processes. Ethiopia has gone a step further to lower tariffs for industrial power to less than 6 cents for a kilowatt hour.
Analysts have warned that short of reciprocation for their manufacturers through matching tariffs, East African countries face the prospect of a massive desertion by investors or alternatively, struggling enterprises against cheaper imports from integrated markets.