Buxton cement works installs new plant to cut fossil fuel usage

Inside the new specialised fuel production plant at Tarmac's Tunstead cement works. From left: Dave Lea, site manager; Andrea Magro, Tarmac cement, head of industrial; David Wilson, Sapphire commercial manager.
Inside the new specialised fuel production plant at Tarmac's Tunstead cement works. From left: Dave Lea, site manager; Andrea Magro, Tarmac cement, head of industrial; David Wilson, Sapphire commercial manager.

An innovative new waste-derived fuel processing plant has been installed at Tarmac’s Tunstead cement works as part of a drive to reduce its use of fossil fuels.

The facility, which has been built adjacent to its Buxton cement production facility, is producing ‘specialised fuel’ - a unique type of solid recovered fuel (SRF) - to be used in the cement manufacturing process.

Waste-derived fuels have a lower carbon footprint and enable the company to gain positive energy from waste materials, diverting them away from landfill.

Chris Bradbury, Tunstead cement plant manager, said: “We are continually looking for ways to minimise our environmental impact.

“Using waste-derived fuels is well established in the industry but having our own fuel processing plant on site is a first for us.

“It provides us with the opportunity to maximise the benefits of using this specialised fuel. We can adjust the blend and amount we use to suit our process and ensure we have as much available as we need. This in turn means we can increase the percentage of more sustainable, non-fossil based fuels we are using.”

Installation of the specialist fuel processing plant followed an extensive study into various UK waste streams’ chemistry and physical properties.

The project is the result of a partnership between Tarmac and its sister company Sapphire Energy Recovery, which is also based at the Tunstead site.

Sapphire supports the business by providing alternative fuels and alternative raw materials to facilitate the plants’ goals regarding carbon footprint and future developments.