Specialised crane facilitates waste-to-fuel operation
In a bid to offset coal consumption at its Berrima Cement Works facility, Boral Cement has installed a 24/7 automatic waste-to-energy handling crane to boost sustainability and efficiency. The fully automated crane, supplied by Konecranes, handles recoverable processed materials, which are added to the fuel mix to run the kiln.
David Spears, Principal Project Manager of the Solid Waste-Derived Fuels (SWDF) Project at Boral Cement, explained that “processed recovered material is delivered by truck from Tier 1 resource recovery facilities in Sydney, and the Konecranes waste-to-energy handling crane moves material into hoppers that feed into a conveyor belt system that transports it to the rotary cement kiln. If the hoppers are full, the crane moves the material to a temporary storage area.”
Spears explained that the Berrima Cement Works produces Portland Cement, a process requiring measured quantities of materials such as limestone, shale and iron. These are blended together, ground to a fine power and fused at a very high temperature in a rotary kiln to produce ‘clinker’.
Previously, the main fuel used for heating the kiln was coal.
“The SWDF facility is designed to offset up to 30% of our annual coal usage, which makes a significant difference to the environment, and to operational efficiency,” Spears said.
“Materials that would have gone to landfill are now being used as fuel, which contributes to a reduced environmental impact and provides us with a reduction in manufacturing costs as well. It’s truly a win-win situation,” he said.
With the success of the SWDF project, Boral is examining the possibilities of further enhancing sustainability and operational objectives with fuels derived from recoverable resources.
“Our coal offset project is a major part of our Berrima Cement Works’ sustainability and we believe this project is a benefit to the community. We are already talking with Konecranes about potential further expansion, to offset even more coal in the future,” Spears said.
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