Home Company News Tarmac boosts cement plant sustainability

Tarmac boosts cement plant sustainability

Oliver Curtin of Tarmac (left) and Robin Stevenson of Hamilton (right)

TARMAC’S Cement and Lime business has announced it is boosting the sustainability of its operations at Dunbar cement plant by signing an agreement with a leading Scottish resource management company, Hamilton Waste and Recycling (Hamilton), for the supply of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF).

Coupled with the installation of an SRF storage and handling system on site over the next few months, the contract will enable the Tarmac plant to increase the proportion of sustainable fuels it uses, harnessing valuable energy, reducing its carbon footprint and significantly decreasing its reliance on fossil fuels.

The waste-derived fuel supplied by Hamilton – Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) –  is manufactured from waste material that cannot be recycled.  It is composed of a range of non-hazardous materials including paper, card, wood, textiles and plastic. The dry, flock-like material can be consistently manufactured to users’ specification including moisture content and calorific value. 

SRF is ideally suited to the energy and mineral needs of the cement production process by releasing a high calorific energy value. All the fuel is used and there is no residual waste – the mineral ash becomes part of the cement clinker, a process known as ‘co-processing’.  Further environmental value is derived as a result of diverting this residual material from expensive and non-sustainable disposal in landfill.

Oliver Curtin, Dunbar Plant manager, said: “SRF is an excellent fuel for the cement manufacturing process and has been used at Tarmac’s other cement plants in Derbyshire and South Wales for years. We are pleased to be adding it to the range of waste-derived fuels supporting our operations at Dunbar, reducing our emissions and dependence on fossil fuels and making a significant difference to the sustainability of our operations.”

Hamilton managing director, Robin Stevenson said: “We are committed to improving our customers’ environmental performance and our work with Tarmac at Dunbar demonstrates how we are able to optimise the commercial and environmental value of waste that cannot be recycled in traditional ways.

“The world’s natural resources, including fossil fuels, are under tremendous pressure and we must continue to innovate and find sustainable alternatives for the future.  The fact that the fuel is manufactured from waste collected in and around East Lothian and Dunbar is also positive for everyone involved.”

Oliver Curtin added: “By taking a local waste which has been processed through a local company, we are providing an environmental solution on our doorstep and supporting the local economy at the same time.

“Waste-derived fuels have been used successfully in cement plants across Europe for over 35 years and the use of SRF at Dunbar supports our commitment to increasing the sustainability of our operations.  We look forward to starting work with Hamilton.”

The agreement with Hamilton, which is due to commence later this year, will ensure that Tarmac can realise the environmental benefits associated with optimising the energy and mineral potential of wastes which are not suitable for further recycling. 

Combined with other waste-derived fuels, this new supply of SRF at Dunbar will support Tarmac’s aim to replace up to 45% of its traditional fossil-based fuels with alternatives which are fully or partially classed as carbon neutral.