In Mexico, Veolia turns cement plant waste into energy

Posted on 20 April 2020.

Veolia and Cemento y Concreto Moctezuma signed a contract to build an industrial waste treatment plant in San Luis Potosí, Mexico. Once operational, it will be able to treat up to 40,000 metric tons of waste annually.

Located in the center of Mexico in Bajío, one of the country's most dynamic regions which has enjoyed major industrial and economic development over the last fifteen years, the state of San Luis Potosí will soon be home to an industrial waste-to-energy plant. The facility is the result of a ten-year contract signed between Veolia and Cemento y Concreto Moctezuma, one of Mexico's largest cement and concrete companies.

Once operational, it will convert hazardous waste into alternative fuel to power the kilns used to manufacture cement. From its first year of production, the plant is expected to process 10,000 metric tons of waste annually before gradually reaching a total capacity of 40,000 metric tons.

By its very nature, hazardous waste has negative effects on human health and the environment. Therefore, special precautions must be taken in the collection, transport and treatment of hazardous waste. Many governments, local authorities and companies are now seeking to reduce hazardous waste production and prioritize recovery - one of the project’s objectives.

In line with the commitments made by the Mexican company, the integrated waste management solution rolled out by Veolia should enable Cemento y Concreto Moctezuma to reduce not only its costs but also its environmental impact.

By transforming "bulky" waste into a resource - a low-carbon, high value-added fuel - the San Luis Potosí plant is a striking example of the circular economy. Recovery eliminates the need to use fossil fuels to power the furnaces and avoids the use the equivalent of 1,600 trucks per year to transport waste (which produces nearly one million metric tons of CO2 equivalent) to special landfills, thereby reducing CO2 emissions.

This facility will be the second of its kind operated by Veolia in Mexico. At Ecatepec de Morelos, in the State of Mexico, a treatment plant in the Xalostoc industrial zone already produces an alternative fuel by processing some industrial waste.

CREDITS: © Getty Images