FERMANAGH construction giant Mannok has taken its first step on the journey to net zero, by launching a ground-breaking, first-in-the-world new technology that has the potential to revolutionise the cement industry across the globe.
Working with Danish multinational technology company FLSmidth, last week Mannok announced the successful implementation of the new FUELFLEX Pyrolyzer combustion system, which has already helped the building products manufacturer dramatically improve its carbon footprint.
The new system has almost wiped out the company’s use of fossil fuel during the most intensive stage of its cement production and has reduced its carbon emissions by 240 tonnes per day. Over a year this would amount to 58,000 tonnes of carbon emissions – the equivalent of the emissions of a medium sized town.
The company held a special launch event at its cement production facility in Ballyconnell, which was attended by leaders from the construction and concrete industry across Ireland as well as local political representatives and other dignitaries, last Thursday.
Speaking at the launch, CEO Liam McCaffrey said the company was at the beginning of the road to full sustainability.
“It’s a long journey in front of us, but you can only start a long journey by taking a first step,” he said. “The FUELFLEX system is very much a first step.”
Those gathered heard how Mannok had been working closely with FLSmidth on the project since 2018, and while the Covid crisis and other external challenges such as Brexit and the war in Ukraine had hampered progress for a time, the technology had now been in place since last July to much success.
Research and development (R&D) specialist at FLSmidth, Lars Skaarup Jensen explained to those gathered how the system worked, why they had chosen Mannok to work with, and outlined the benefits and potential of the system.
“It was a brave decision by Mannok to partner with us in the development of this world first technology, and it took great commitment and expertise on both sides to achieve a successful outcome which has enormous potential for cement producers globally,” he said.
The launch heard how the new technology was already attracting international attention, with various delegations recently travelling from as far away as South Korea to see it in operation.
Mannok operations director Kevin Lunney said, “The key challenge for the entire cement industry is de-carbonisation, and it’s our primary area of focus.
“We’ve set ambitious targets to reduce our carbon emissions by a third by the end of the decade, and go on to achieve net zero by 2050.
“This requires innovative thinking, and we’re very proud to partner with FLSmidth and to help provide leadership in this space.”
Mr Lunney added, “The success of the FUELFLEX technology is a big win for us, as we are now on track to eliminate all coal use in the pre-calcination phase of production, which surpasses our initial expectations of displacing percent.
“This will remove around 40,000 tonnes of coal, and the resulting 58,000 tonnes of carbon emissions per year, so it’s a significant leap forward in our decarbonisation journey.”
To read more.. Subscribe to current edition