Ethio-Egyptian JV set to process weed into energy
Targets to replace 60 percent of coal energy for cement factories use
Egyptian and Ethiopian companies have inked deals that aim at replacing coal as an energy source with weeds. The joint venture (JV) has acquired a whopping one million hectares plot of land in the Afar Regional State.
National Cement SC via East Africa Mining – a shareholding company in National Cement – and Egyptian Company for Solid Waste Recycling (ECARU) signed a memorandum of understanding on the sidelines of a high-level conference dubbed “Africa 2016: Business for Africa, Egypt and the World”, which was recently held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt. The new venture will process and convert prosopis juliflora (locals call it Woyane) – a weed that has invasive weed that is vastly found in the Afar Regional State.
This invasive weed plant will be processed into biomass to generate thermal energy Basso Assefa (Eng.), executive director of National Cement SC, told The Reporter.
Both National Cement and ECARU have agreed to set up an Ethiopian JV which will process prosopis juliflora. Hence, the new JV, which will be managed by ECRAU, will work on processing and producing biomass energy that eventually will seek to replace coal, which is mainly imported from South Africa.
According to the agreement, the new JV will supply alternative solid fuel as a source of energy for power generation and generate 4200kcl per one kg, Basso said.
Basso said that without any modifications on the current energy feeding systems, the alternative energy will be able to replace some 40 percent of coal energy. With minor modifications, the target is to reach some 60 percent. Gradually, all the cement factories are expected to use the new biomass energy along their production lines.
In a related news, Messebo Cement Factory has recently agreed with the same Egyptian company to process biomass energy aiming at reducing reliance on coal energy. Both Messebo and ECRAU have signed a five-year management and technical agreement.
Hisham Sherif, CEO of ECARU told The Reporter that Mesebo has invested an initial amount of USD 10 million. The CEO highlighted that the new JV between ECRAU and National Cement is yet to be engineered as to how much shares both sides will have and how much money is to be injected as capital requirement. However, for the most technological and managerial part, it is ECARU at the forefront.