Italcementi Group has said it will use coal as a long-term solution to the fuel shortages faced by its subsidiary Suez Cement in Egypt.
Suez Cement said coal would help its Egyptian cement plants to maintain their 18% of local cement sales.
The company had been using natural gas to power its cement plants, however, a change in strategy has been brought about by higher natural gas prices and fuel shortages – compared with coal, which is cheap and plentiful.
The Suez plant will use coal next November, while two of the group’s its other factories in Tora and Helwan will start in two years' time, said Suez Cement chief executive, Omar Mehanna. “We will begin using coal to generate energy for cement production cement in our Katameya factory by the end of this month in order to produce 3 million tpa,” he said.
“The investment cost for factories to operate is valued at EGP 500 million (US$ 60.9 million). One million BTUs of coal costs US$ 6, compared to US$ 17 for the same quantity of imported natural gas,” he said.
Edited from various sources by Sam Dodson
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