Why Bamburi Cement is halting Ordinary Cement production

Bamburi Cement Plc says it will cease production of Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC) from next month, as part of its commitment to decarbonize its operations.

The announcement which comes amid the ongoing 2023 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28) in United Arab Emirates, accelerates the company’s sustainability target to 100% green products by 2025, decreasing carbon (CO2) emissions to fight climate change.

Announcing the move, Bamburi Cement Group Managing Director Mohit Kapoor said it will affect the production of Powerplus cement, used in medium to large construction projects but will have no disruptive impact on customers due to presence of alternative greener products.

“Bamburi Cement Plc is steering future construction processes and built environment’s life cycle towards environmental protection. Withdrawing OPC from the construction sector is critical to greening and decarbonising the industry.

In combination with the thrust on the use of eco-friendly cement offerings, it gives us the opportunity to onboard our partners and customers in our unstoppable journey to net-zero,” said Kapoor.

Bamburi Cement Group’s Head of Innovation and Technical Services, Eng. Fidelis Sakwa says several eco-labelled cement products have been lined up as alternatives.

“Our flagship eco-labelled product Bamburi Duracem 42.5% reduces carbon emissions by 64% in comparison to the OPC. Duracem was successfully used to build the Makupa Bridge in Mombasa resulting in a saving of 10 million kg of CO2 as compared to OPC that would have been used,” said Eng. Sakwa.

The 457-meter long Makupa Causeway Bridge which links Mombasa City to the Kenyan mainland has been built using sustainably produced Duracem Cement which reduces carbon emissions by 64%.

OPC has been used traditionally for large infrastructure projects and high rise buildings. OPC typically contains 95% clinker, an intermediate material in the manufacture of cement produced by burning limestone and other materials in a kiln where CO2 is invariably released in the process. OPC emits the highest greenhouse gases into the atmosphere during its manufacturing and production.

One ton of clinker emits around 0.83 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere according to Global Cement and Concrete Association (GCCA) regional data, whereas one ton of OPC emits approximately 0.79 tons of CO2, driving the building industry’s 8% (2.8 billion tons) of carbon emissions globally.

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