Uganda – Energy recovery from coffee husks

Lafarge’s Hima cement plant in Uganda uses coffee husks to meet almost half its fuel needs, reducing fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

 

Objective

  • Reduce consumption of fossil fuels and related CO2 emissions
  • Lower energy costs

Summary

Lafarge's Hima cement plant in Uganda decided to use coffee husks to replace fossil fuel in its cement kilns. Coffee husks are available in large quantities in the region as coffee accounts for more than 50% of Uganda’s total exports.

Coffee husks are a waste product generated after coffee beans have been harvested, dried and extracted. The husks were previously landfilled or used as fertilizer by local farmers. Today, they are used in our Hima plant, replacing fuel oil that was supplied by road tanker from Mombasa in Kenya, over 1,500 km away.

As part of this initiative, our Hima plant has distributed coffee seedlings to the surrounding community. This has helped local people to develop a new farming activity. The coffee husks are then used as alternative fuel in the plant, where they are fed directly into the kilns’ combustion flame using a feeder system that we have designed and installed.

Results

Our Hima plant today uses coffee husks to meet around 45% of its fuel needs. This has allowed it to reduce fossil fuel consumption significantly, reducing related CO2 emissions and the overall energy bill. Furthermore, since less fuel is transported by truck to the plant, transport-related CO2 emissions have also been reduced.