Egypt’s third largest cement producer, Arabian Cement, has started testing coal in generating thermal power with the aim of shifting to this energy source for 50% of its factories’ needs.
The company has already completed the first phase of its plan for converting solid waste, which currently provides 9% of the thermal power for its plants. The second phase is expected to be completed this year, and will allow for 30% of the company’s thermal power needs to be produced from solid wastes.
Arabian Cement was recently listed on the Egyptian Stock Exchange and it is looking to raise production capacity by adding two new cement production lines to exploit its undeveloped land.
The company’s 2013 production output was at approximately 4 million tonnes, against 4.3 million tonnes produced in 2012.
In April, the government approved the use of coal for energy production in spite of concerns over environmental health. It is hoped that such a move will prevent any further weakening of production output due to energy restrictions.
Many cement factories in Egypt have experienced increased production costs totaling upwards of 20%, as a result of fuel shortages.
Recently, the Egyptian interim government announcement its budget for the coming fiscal year in which it has reduced allocations for petroleum product subsidies to approximately US$14.5bn compared to US$18.bn for the current year while the electricity subsidy bill was increased to US$46.1bn, a move that has raised fears among citizens over fuel price rises.