PPC, is planning to expand its alternative fuel initiative in South Africa as part of the company’s profit improvement programme. Photo: Supplied
JOHANNESBURG - PPC, the listed cement and lime producer, is planning to expand its alternative fuel initiative in South Africa as part of the company’s profit improvement programme.

PPC chief executive Johan Claassen said they were already doing tyre burning at PPC’s De Hoek plant in the Western Cape and the next step was refuse derived fuel.

Claassen said this involved burning “fluff” and they had started with the separation and sorting of refuse in the Cape Peninsula and would be taking and using a certain fraction of that as an alternative fuel for the De Hoek cement kilns.

Claassen said the City of Cape Town, Drakenstein, which included Wellington and Paarl, and Swartland, which included Malmesbury, were out of landfill space and had to do something.

“So waste burning in the Western Cape will become a reality very soon. We have engaged with all the necessary parties and have a domain expert from Germany that can assist us and went through this process before,” he said.

Claassen said PPC had also saved costs at the De Hoek plant by conserving about 40percent of the water used by the plant.

He said these initiatives formed part of PPC’s cost optimisation programme, which was focused on cost savings and revenue enhancement.

Claassen said it was already under way and aimed to deliver targeted savings of R50 a ton as part of PPC second phase profit improvement programme.

He was hopeful PPC would realise something tangible from the initiative in the next 12 to 18 months.

Claassen was not concerned about any disruption to the supply of waste tyres that were burnt in the kilns at the De Hoek plant because of the liquidation of the controversial Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa’s (Redisa), the only government-approved integrated waste tyre plan.

The Western Cape High Court in September placed Redisa and its management company Kusaga Taka Consulting in final liquidation and granted an order for Redisa’s assets to be transferred to the Waste Management Bureau.

Attorneys for Redisa gave notice of their intention to appeal the entire order granted by Judge Robert Henney in the Western Cape High Court .

In a 101-page judgment, Judge Henney said there had been “an unlawful misappropriation of public funds” by the Redisa directors Herman Erdmann, Stacey-Inger Davidson and Charline Kirk through Kusaga Taka to Avranet and Nine Years Investments as well as by Kirk and Kusaga Taka chief executive Christopher Crozier through Nine Years Investments.

Claassen said PPC had seen “this coming” and had built up serious tyre stocks at the De Hoek plant and also had a site at Vissershok in the Cape where it had quite a big stock of waste tyres.

Shares in PPC rose 4.65percent on Friday to close at R6.08 a share.