The manufacturing process of cement is both electrical and thermal energy-intensive. The environmental considerations and cost factors accompanying both sources of energy are driving Holcim to reduce energy use at its plants.

Holcim (South Africa) (Pty) Limited is one of the largest suppliers of construction-related materials in Southern Africa. It has total assets of R3.4 billion, an annual turnover of more than R3.6 billion and about 2,000 employees globally.

Holcim has been producing high quality A1 cement in South Africa since 1934. From the company’s base factories at Ulco in the Northern Cape and Dudfield in the North West Province, the product is transported to depots across the country, and thence distributed in bulk and bags to a large and wide-ranging customer base. Holcim’s Dudfield plant managed to reduce its thermal energy requirements per ton of cement produced between 2003 and 2004. The project was triggered by the need for significant repair work at the plant. After 24 years of noteworthy service, the Dudfield cement kiln line number 3 had reached a mechanical condition that required a major overhaul to ensure continued reliable and safe operation. The kiln shell and the drive train were among some of the larger items needing capital-intensive attention.