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Veolia’s Adbri Cement contract delivers lower emissions for South Australia’s economy

A new contract will see the Veolia ANZ / ResourceCo partnership deliver more than 1m tonnes of sustainable Refuse Derived Fuel.

A new contract will see the Veolia ANZ / ResourceCo partnership deliver more than 1m tonnes of sustainable Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) from its Adelaide facility to replace natural gas at Adbri Cement’s Birkenhead plant. 

The contract to deliver the fuel means Veolia ResourceCo’s Wilkins Road facility will be one of the few, if not the only facility, to both manufacture and deliver RDF exclusively to a domestic company.

RDF is made from largely selected commercial waste and industrial waste that would otherwise end up in landfill. This waste is processed and re-manufactured into a fuel that can be used for direct combustion in pre-heaters, calciners and rotary kilns, making it ideal for cement manufacture. By replacing natural gas or coal for high energy consuming industries, the RDF reduces waste to landfill and cuts overall greenhouse gas emissions.

Veolia ANZ’s Chief Operating Officer - Resource Recovery Craig Barker said the contract marks a new era for the Veolia ResourceCo alternative fuel business, which will manage the supply of RDF 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Mr Barker said:

“This is a genuine circular economy and emissions reduction project that will help South Australia hit its emissions reduction targets and deliver eight new jobs to Adelaide at the same time, bringing our total staff numbers at Wilkins Road up to 64,”

“We have calculated that over the course of the contract we will divert around 1.48 million tonnes of waste from landfill.”

Adbri Cement’s Birkenhead plant has increasingly been using alternative fuels to power its manufacturing process since 2003, and Veolia ResourceCo’s RDF has played a significant role in this. RDF now makes up around 13% of the energy used by the Adbri Group across its entire business, which has seen a 8% drop in emissions in 2023 compared to 2022. 

In 2023, Adbri obtained approval from the EPA SA to further increase the use of RDF that will divert another 80,000 tonnes of RDF from landfill each year.  

Brett Brown, Adbri’s Chief Operating Officer, Cement and Lime said:

“Adbri has pioneered the use of RDF in Australia. Cement manufacturing is energy intensive, and the use of alternative fuels is one of the levers we are using to reduce our emissions as part of our goal of net zero by 2050,”

“The increase in RDF, approved by the EPA SA in 2023, is estimated to further reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 13,000 tonnes annually. It also supports our customers in adopting lower carbon products, with our Birkenhead facility proudly producing Australia’s lowest carbon embodied general purpose cement that has been independently verified.”

Source: Veolia

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