Fletcher Building has announced the completion of its tyre project at Golden Bay Cement, which will avoid up to three million used tyres going to landfill each year to instead be used in cement manufacturing.
The significant upgrade to New Zealand’s only end-to-end cement plant, which is based in Portland, Whangarei, was officially opened by the Honourable David Parker, Minister for the Environment.
“This innovative project is a win-win-win for the environment. It reduces a significant waste problem, reuses a valuable resource, and reduces carbon emissions by about 13,000 tonnes a year,” says Parker.
Fletcher Building CEO Ross Taylor says this is a landmark sustainability project for manufacturing in New Zealand.
“Using end-of-life tyres in cement manufacturing helps to solve a significant waste problem in New Zealand as well as improve the sustainability of a key building material. Up to 50% of the 6.3 million waste tyres created in New Zealand each year will now be used in cement manufacturing at the Golden Bay Cement plant instead of going into landfill.
“There are no other large industries in New Zealand that can readily or cleanly consume the volume of waste tyres our Portland cement plant can,” says Taylor.
“Waste tyres have been used successfully in many cement plants throughout the world. We are proud to bring this world-leading technology to New Zealand as well as our investment in local manufacturing jobs and capability.
“The project was a significant investment over several years that involved upgrades to the plant, with specialist equipment from Denmark installed to feed the tyres into the cement manufacturing process. With the upgrades now completed, we have been successfully using tyres since 22 February. The tyres are combusted at around 1,400°C and the rubber, metal and any ash are combined into the cement.
“Golden Bay Cement supplies more than half the New Zealand market as the only local cement manufacturer.
“Our cement already has around 20% lower emissions than imported cement and using tyres is part of the decarbonization plan to reduce its footprint even further. It will also reduce our need for natural raw materials like iron sand.
“Local manufacturing must compete fiercely with imports, and this investment allows us to continue doing just that. At the same time, we’re providing local jobs as well as supply chain security for the domestic building, infrastructure, and construction industries,” says Taylor.
Fletcher Building has a verified science-based target to reduce its emissions by 30% by 2030.
Taylor says, “Climate change is an urgent, global priority. The building and materials sector has an important role to play by changing the way that it designs, builds, sources, and manufactures the building materials used in the construction process. We are serious about transforming our business around sustainability to do our part in creating a sustainable future and reducing our carbon emissions.”
The Ministry for the Environment part funded the $25 million project with a grant of $16 million awarded through its Waste Minimisation Fund.