+27 71 448 3496
leon@whyafrica.co.za

Meeting the Kenyan cement industry’s sustainability goals

Share Article
Cement is critical to the development of infrastructure across the continent. Image credit: Wikimedia Commons

Meeting the Kenyan cement industry’s sustainability goals 

The Kenyan cement industry forms an important part of the country’s continued infrastructure development, actively contributing to the construction of buildings, roads, and other essential infrastructure. 

By Pius Nzethe, MMM Segment leader at Schneider Electric East Africa

According to Kenya National Bureau of Statistics (KNBS), cement demand in 2022 surged by a remarkable 18%, while production increased from six to 10 million tons in just five years (2018-2022).

However, the industry is also inherently energy intensive, relying heavily on the national grid to meet its operational demands.

Kenya is one of the African continent’s shining beacons when it comes to the adoption of green technology, which is why it’s vitally important that its cement industry transitions towards a sustainability posture, enabled by energy management and efficiency.

The high cost of clinker (Meeting the Kenyan cement industry’s sustainability goals)

To reach its sustainability goals, the industry will have to overcome one pertinent challenge, the high cost of clinker. The import duties of clinker are set to increase with 15%, reaching 25% in the coming months which will inflate production costs. Clinker is an important binding ingredient in the cement manufacturing process.

The good news is there is also investment in local clinker production expansion such as Lafarge-Holcim‘s Bamburi Cement plant in Kwale and Savanna Cement‘s USD500-million complex in Kitui County.

The move towards a greener industry (Meeting the Kenyan cement industry’s sustainability goals)

Despite the abovementioned challenges, there is also noticeable shift towards sustainability within the industry. Important developments include:

  • Renewable energy: Bamburi Cement signed a Power Purchase Agreement with MOMNAI Power to supply solar-generated energy, reducing its reliance on fossil fuel power.
  • Mombasa Cement, part of the Nyumba Group, established a 36MW wind farm to support its Vipingo integrated cement plant. This transition to renewable energy sources reduces the carbon footprint of cement production.
  • New grinding technologies: Cement producers are adopting Vertical Roller Mills (VRM) technology, increasing energy efficiency by reducing power consumption by 30% for the same cement output. VRMs also offer better quality and reliability.
  • Digitisation: Cement producers are embracing analytic software for optimised asset and plant utilisation. Investments in power management software and asset advisors are becoming more common.
  • Modern technologies for grinding and calcination improve resource utilisation and energy efficiency.

Schneider Electric can play an important role in helping the Kenyan cement industry achieve its sustainability and energy efficiency goals through technologies such as.

  • Variable Frequency Drives (VFD): Schneider Electric’s VFDs are utilised in cement manufacturing to drive crushers, fans, separators, and kilns, resulting in over 50% energy savings. Large fans, accounting for 30-50% of energy consumption in cement plants, benefit significantly from VFDs.
  • Schneider Electric’s EcoStruxure architecture facilitates sustainable cement operations by collecting data across various plant assets and processes. This data is then used to optimise plant operations and resource utilisation.
  • Renewable energy support: Schneider Electric provides reliable switchgear, power products, and solar inverters, supporting cement producers in their transition to renewable energy sources.

Meeting the Kenyan cement industry’s sustainability goals

ADVERTISEMENT

WhyAfrica provides on the ground information and business intelligence about the sustainable utilisation and extraction of natural resources in Africa, and can assist your company through:  

  1. Membership:
  • WhyAfrica’s membership offers great business insights to you, your company, and clients.
  • Amongst many other benefits, we will publish editorial content about you or your company on the WhyAfrica online platform and on all WhyAfrica’s social media pages – the annual fee is R6,500 and you can find out more or subscribe here: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/product/membership/ 
  1. Sponsorship:
  • WhyAfrica’s Road Trip takes place annually in July and August. During our Road Trip we aim to visit more than 30 project sites. Sponsoring the Road Trip, or to be a WhyAfrica member, gives you unparalleled insight into the business environment of the countries that we travel to and the project sites we visit.
  • To be a member or sponsor allows you access to invaluable, on the ground, business intelligence and a great marketing opportunity for all companies doing business in Africa.
  • The main aim of our Road Trips is to promote Africa as an investment destination and to showcase Africa’s greatest companies, and projects to our large global audience, which includes a list of potential investors, venture capitalists and serial entrepreneurs.
  • To view the photos of this year’s Southern Africa Road Trip click on the gallery link or follow our Instagram account at why.africa https://www.whyafrica.co.za/road-trips/whyafrica-road-trips/. 
  1. Advertising:
  • We publish daily online articles on our WhyAfrica platform and post them on social media every day. Our combined online reach is more than 45,000. In-article banner ads are highly successful advertising tools as is advertising space on our website.
  • In addition to our bi-weekly newsletters, we publish two printed- and two interactive digital magazines per year. The printed magazines are distributed at major events and conferences throughout the year, and also on our WhyAfrica Road trips.
  • Digital magazines are e-mailed to all our subscribers and shared on our social media platforms. A copy of the latest edition is automatically attached to all our outgoing e-mails.
  • WhyAfrica magazines provide great marketing opportunities. There are also in-article and on-line advertising opportunities at exceptional rates. Contact me for more information on leon@whyafrica.co.za or give me a call.
  • To subscribe to WhyAfrica’s free newsletters and magazines click on the link and register: https://www.whyafrica.co.za/subscribe/  
  1. 4. Partnerships
  • Maximise your African exposure and link with our large business network through becoming one of only 10 WhyAfrica partners. We have only five prime partnership positions left for 2023, so contact me at leon@whyafrica.co.za to get the best deal.

Meeting the Kenyan cement industry’s sustainability goals

ADVERTISEMENT

 

 

Share Article

Sectors

AgricultureEnvironmental Management & Climate ChangeEnergyESGInfrastructureMiningPolitical EconomyTourism and ConservationWater Management