UNEP DTU provides technical assistance to Mozambique on waste to fuel options for cement factories

August 29, 2017

Transforming waste to energy for the cement sector is a national priority in Mozambique.

Mozambique’s Ministry of Earth, Environment and Rural Development requested support to the Climate Technology Centre and Network (CTCN) in assessing the technical and financial feasibility for utilisation of municipal solid waste as refuse derived fuel (RDF) to power cement factories in Mozambique.

As CTCN partner, UNEP DTU Partnership, provided technical assistance to determine the feasibility of the production of refuse derived fuel from municipal solid waste for use in cement factories in Mozambique, with a focus on two urban cities: Maputo and Matola.

Management and utilization of municipal solid waste as a fuel can be a means to minimize methane emissions, avoid unhealthy living conditions near landfills, and to potentially commoditize waste as an energy source.

However, the feasibility study showed that the use of refuse derived fuel is not technically feasible under the current requirements by the cement factory.

The use of municipal solid waste for fuel production would not be economically feasible as its revenues would have to compete with natural gas prices, currently the main fuel utilized by cement producers. Various measures were highlighted which could improve the economic performance of a refuse derived fuel plant such as introducing a gate fee/waste handling tariff for waste disposal and partnering with alternative financing institutions like development banks.

Guidance was also provided on the legal and regulatory environment including that renewable energy policies in Mozambique should consider including waste as a suitable energy resource, in order to allow waste to energy projects access to relevant financial instruments, such as investment incentives, tax benefits, access to the electricity grid and competitive electricity tariffs.

This technical assistance involved collaboration with the Mozambican public sector including the Ministry of Earth, Environment and Rural Development; the Association of Municipalities; and the Fund of the Environment (FUNAB); the private sector (AMOR, 3R, Cimentos de Mocambique, and Carbon Africa) and the municipalities Maputo and Matola.