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Portland Cement Plant Receives Environmental Boost

A significant investment by Fletcher Building into an environmentally sustainable fuel for its Portland Cement manufacturing plant received a boost today from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation Fund.

Fletcher Building is upgrading its Golden Bay Cement Plant at Portland to include shredded tyres in its fuel mix that will reduce its reliance on coal by around 15%. The investment, subject to consenting requirements, follows a $40m capital works programme at Portland over the past two years to future-proof the cement manufacturing facility.

Matt Crockett, Chief Executive of Fletcher’s Building Products division, said the investment from Fletcher Building and the Ministry would result in multiple wins for the environment and the sustainability of the Portland operation.

“We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment and we are committed to maintaining Portland as a world-class cement manufacturing site. Fletcher Building is investing, with the support of the government, in innovation at Portland to ensure its long term sustainability, in terms of both environmental responsibility and employment for Northlanders.

“Golden Bay will be part of a sustainable solution to reduce tyres that are illegally dumped or sent to landfills. With the Ministry’s support, the Portland Plant will have a sustainable future with a low-carbon fuel mix of end-of-life tyres and wood waste,” he said.

The Waste Minimisation Fund grant will help pay for modifications to the cement kiln at Portland and other associated costs required to introduce tyre-derived fuel (TDF) into the fuel mix. End-of-life tyres will be collected from around the upper North Island, including from Fletcher Building companies, and sent for shredding by Waste Management before being transported to Portland, south of Whangarei.

Ian Jones, General Manager GBC Winstone, said the Company would be using world-class technology to incorporate the shredded tyres into the kiln. TDF is used widely in Europe and the United States in cement kilns and is proven as an ideal, and environmentally-friendly, fuel for the process. Once fully operational, the cement kiln will be able to take around 3.1 million shredded tyres per year.

“We will be taking a large volume of TDF and by introducing this into the process along with wood waste and coal at Portland Cement, we will be reducing our reliance on coal in the cement-making process. The fuels combust at over 1,000°C at this location resulting in total combustion with no increased emissions or waste to dispose of,” he said.

The use of TDF at the Portland facility is expected to replace 15,000 tonnes of coal and 5,000 tonnes of iron-sand, per year, a 50% reduction in iron-sand use for the facility.


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