Dangote Cement Plc has shown its commitment in embracing alternative fuel sources in its energy mix.

In 2020, Dangote Cement started exploring fully the feasibility of significantly increasing the use of alternative energy in its cement production, through co-processing of wastes. The implementation strategy began with its Nigerian operations, and it has been replicated across other African operations.

Recently, its Ibese Plant has taken its Social Investment to another level with initiatives designed to restore the ecosystem. The Plant has exemplified that the care for environment is a business for all businesses by donating 25,000 pieces of 100kg capacity bags for management of agro-waste in communities across Nigeria.

Being burned or left rotten on the fields by farmers once, agriculture waste, known as agro waste, has turned into the best alternative fuel for industries. As an eco-friendly initiative, industries have started using agro-waste briquettes along with coal or other non-renewable sources of fuel. Green activists saw increased usage of agro-waste for industrial purpose as the biggest step taken for environment conservation. A few industries are solely running on agro waste and the best example is Dangote Cement.

The Dangote Cement Ibese Plant director, Mr. Azad Nawabuddin made the donation to the chief executive officer of Niels Deck Nigeria Limited, Mr. Daniel Akpan in Ibese.

Nawabuddin revealed the Plant’s commitment to providing a total of 100,000 pieces of the bag to positively engage and empower communities and their youths by stimulating the use of agro-waste as alternative fuel in the year 2023.

He explained that the company was irrevocable committed to the use of alternative fuel to eliminate carbon emission by discarding fossil fuel and the donation was part of the efforts.

While appreciating the management of Dangote Cement Plc for the gesture, Akpan said: “there is no doubt that this will greatly improve our waste management drive in the communities, create more employment and guarantee the sustainability of the livelihood of hundreds of people across the agro-waste management value chain.”

As an advocate of decarbonisation, Niels Deck Nigeria Limited has been at the forefront of the implementation of global initiatives for sustainable environment in communities across Nigeria.

The partnership with Ibese Plant for partial substitution of fossil fuel has not only improved agro-waste management across Nigeria but also helped to economically empower numerous youths engaged for sourcing, packing and bagging the wastes.

The effort has also helped to reduce carbon footprint of the Plant and is a demonstration of DCP’s strong commitment to activities geared towards reduction of global warming in line with international best practices.

Also, the company, in its 2020 annual report, said waste materials that have been identified as viable in the alternative fuel project and are available within a 450km radius of its operations include: saw dusts, agro-waste like palm kernel shells, rice husks, maize cobs, and cashew nutshells, commercial and industrial wastes, refuse-derived fuel (RDF), waste lubricants, polypropylene bags and scrap tyres.

“We are also considering the feasibility of utilising our cement bags plant rejects and the retrieval and re-utilisation of waste cement bags. Waste materials are currently sourced from nearby Dangote Cement operations sites; municipals close to the Plants; and nearby farms,” it said.

The company, in it 2021 annual report explained that, “our Environmental Pillar defines our ways of entrenching environmental sustainability by identifying, measuring and mitigating actual and potential environmental impacts of operations.

“Our goal is continuous improvement of performance on energy efficiency, waste management, water consumption, greenhouse gas emissions. The business leverages opportunities in environmental stewardship, such as efficiencies in alternative fuel, and the circular economy model.”

It added that Dangote Cement is a member of the Global Cement & Concrete Association (GCCA) and subscribes to the GCCA Sustainability Guidelines. The GCCA issues performance enhancement guidelines, gathers and publishes data on the industry’s sustainability commitments, and initiates research climate change and energy, social responsibility, environment and nature, circular economy, and health and safety.

“Alignment with the GCCA supports our plans towards improved business practices and processes for the preservation of air and water quality, as well as efficiency in the utilisation of energy and natural resources. Our business activities are undertaken with conscious thoughts for our natural environment and the need to consistently enhance our environmental stewardship while also leveraging the opportunities that this presents.

“While there are environmental fallouts from our business operations, including dust pollution, CO2 emission, and so on, we remain committed to continually improving our environmental stewardship,” it pointed out.

The company pointed out that the manufacturing of cement is an energy-intensive process, with a large proportion of production costs spent on fuel sourcing for kilns operations, saying, “our kilns, like others in the industry, require high energy for the conversion of raw materials such as limestone, laterite and other minerals into clinker in a heat-intensive process known as sintering. Sintering is an energy-intensive process that occurs at about 1450°C.
“We acknowledge the fact that the amount of energy consumed cannot be out-rightly reduced. Hence our corporate strategy and commitment are to enhance our investments in alternative fuel sources and energy-saving initiatives, focusing on cleaner energy.”

Dangote Cement has production capacity of 51.6 million tonnes per year across 10 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. It has integrated factories in seven countries, a clinker grinding plant in Cameroon, and import and distribution facilities for bulk cement in Ghana and Sierra Leone. Together, these operations make the Group the largest and leading cement producer in Sub-Saharan Africa.