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Cemex plan to make sustainable fuel

Building materials manufacturers Cemex have announced plans to build a new plant to turn household and commercial waste into a new sustainable fuel called Climafuel.

Cemex plan to make sustainable fuel

The new plant will either be on the group’s former cement works at Southern or next to the works at Rugby and could divert up to 75% of Warwickshire waste from going to landfill.

The investment, which is estimated to total £35 million, would create 25 full-time jobs, Provided permission is granted, the Climafuel plant would have the capacity to receive around 300,000 tonnes of local waste per annum, to satisfy approximately 60% of Rugby works’ Climafuel needs.

CEMEX are submitting two applications to Warwickshire County Council, one for a Climafuel plant at Southam, and one for a plant in Rugby, although only one will be built. The idea is to give the council the chance to decide which of two equally suitable options best meets local community needs and those of the Warwickshir’e County Council’s future waste strategy.

Cement-making is energy intensive and involves heating up kilns to at least 1400 degrees. Increasing the use of alternative fuels made from waste is therefore key to saving fossil fuels for future generations.

Alternative fuels are also more economical and have significant environmental benefits, including a marked reduction in emissions of oxides of nitrogen, which in Rugby have reduced by more than 40% since the plant introduced chipped tyres as a fuel in 2005. Alternative fuels, such as tyres and Climafuel, also contain a proportion of carbon neutral biomass content, thereby reducing the carbon footprint of the cement-making process. The Climafuel produced at the proposed CEMEX plant could contain at least 50% biomass and displace nearly 180,000 tonnes of fossil fuel CO2 in Rugby, the same emissions as 72,000 cars produce in a year.

Provided planning permission is granted, CEMEX plans to enter into an agreement with a specialist waste management company to run the plant, which could be up and running by 2010.

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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