Alternative fuels

Ireland now has a considerable opportunity to benefit from the use of locally prepared alternative fuels in the cement industry.

Watch our video on how waste is replacing fossil fuels in the cement industry here.

The cement industry in Ireland is committed to replacement of 50% of the imported fossil fuels over the coming years. Regulatory approval is in place for the use over 400,000 tonnes of alternative fuels in the four cement plants in the Republic. The use of alternative fuels by Ireland's cement industry delivers broad ranging sustainability benefits, environmentally, socially and economically: 
  • Direct CO2 reductions because the alternative fuels are less carbon intensive than fossil fuels
  • Indirect CO2 reductions due to diversion of waste from landfill
  • Reducing dependence on imported fossil fuels by using locally prepared alternative fuels
  • Reducing transport related emissions from the increased use of local fuels   
  • Procurement of fuels at home encourages investments in sustainable waste managament practices
  • Additional investments in alternative waste treatment facilities are not required
  • Helps secure local employment

One of the CMI members, Lagan Cement has replaced over 60% of their fossil fuels with alternative fuels. Lagan Cement is currently using approximately 50,000 tonnes annually of Solid Recovered Fuel (SRF) produced in Ireland. Irish Cement in Platin is now also using SRF.  Lafarge Cement has previously used liquid alternative fuel. The other two facilities, Quinn Cement and the Irish Cement facilities in Limerick have all been granted full planning permission for the use of alternative fuels.

In total over the coming years and in line with the expected increases in SRF production from Ireland’s waste management sector, the cement industry in Ireland will have capacity, during full production, for the use of up to 300,000 tonnes of SRF per annum. This represents a significant improvement in the energy security for the cement industry. This switch to fuel procurement from the domestic market with all the associated fiscal benefits also greatly assist with Ireland's 'diversion of waste from landfill' targets.