Cookstown cement plant aims to replace 35% of coal usage

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Updated Mon, 09 Mar 2015 14:23:07 GMT

Devendra Mody, Industrial Director of Lafarge Tarmac, and Mark. H. Durkan, Northern Ireland’s Environment Minister, have signed a Prosperity Agreement for the use of waste-derived fuels at the Cookstown cement plant. At present, coal makes up around 95% of the plant’s fuel mix. Under the agreement, Cookstown will aim for a 35% AFR substitution rate, which may include waste materials such as tyres.

Lafarge Tarmac has committed to:

Reduce carbon emissions from the production process by at least 10% over the lifetime of the agreement.

Investigate ways of lowering emissions from its transportation chain.

Work with stakeholders to develop a renewable energy strategy and look into measures to reduce packaging.

Substitute up to 35% of its coal usage with alternative raw materials or waste-derived fuels in accordance with the code of practice developed by the Mineral Products Association.

Improve public access to rare geological features at the Ballysudden ASSI, located in the Cookstown quarry.

The Environment Minister visited the Lafarge Tarmac Cookstown facility along with Lord Deben and Matthew Bell, Chair and Chief Executive of the UK Climate Change Committee.

During the visit, Durkan stated that: “The agreement will turn environmental issues from barriers to business into economic growth opportunities. The deal is that the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) firmly regulates and reduces red tape. In turn partner companies invest heavily in the environment.” “Lafarge Tarmac is committing significant investment in the environment. In addition to many environmental benefits it will reduce its carbon emissions from production by a minimum of 10%, equivalent to taking 6500 cars off the road and will look at ways to reduce emissions from its transportation chain. It has also committed to improving public access to rare geological features found in the Ballysudden Areas of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI), located in its Cookstown quarry and to work with key stakeholders to develop a renewable energy strategy and examine options for reducing packaging,” he added.

Commenting on the agreement, Devendra Mody said: “This Prosperity Agreement signifies a step-change in the way that our business interacts with NIEA. NIEA is the first UK regulator to facilitate the implementation of the MPA Code of Practice enabling our Cookstown operations to increase its fossil fuel substitution rates without the associated bureaucracy. As a result, our energy costs will reduce and we can commit to significantly reduce our CO2 emissions. To be sustainable, we need to be profitable and this innovative new approach will help ensure the economic prosperity and the future of the Cookstown site”

“Prosperity Agreements demonstrate how we can grow while also reducing the risks of climate change. Industry plays an important role in helping to meet the UK target for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. I welcome Lafarge Tarmac’s commitment,” said Bell. “A reduction of 10% in greenhouse gas emissions over the next 4 years builds on improved efficiency across the sector since 1990. I hope this agreement acts as a good example of joint working between regulators and industry, and will be followed by others in Northern Ireland and around the UK.”