Romanian alumina producer, one of the beneficiaries of the EC grant of EUR 8.8 M within ReActiv project

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ALUM S.A., the only calcined alumina producer in Romania, is one of the stakeholders of the ReActiv project, an initiative aiming to reduce waste and CO2 emissions by transforming bauxite residue, the main by-product of the alumina sector, into an active material suitable for developing new cement products, with low CO2 footprint. Coordinated by LafargeHolcim through its Research and Development Center („Lafarge Centre de Recherche SAS”), the project is part of the Horizon 2020 program for creating low carbon circular industries and received EUR 8.8 million grant from the European Commission.

ReActiv focuses on transforming a currently unexploited industrial residue from the alumina sector Bauxite Residue, into active material for new sustainable cement products. In ReActiv project, ALUM participates as a stakeholder, providing appropriate samples of bauxite residue to be processed in the project, contributes to the feasibility studies and business plan development, especially in regards to potential technology deployment at cement plants. The project will be implemented starting end of 2020 or early 2021 and will be finalized in a four year period.

“Through ReActiv project, altogether with several industry leaders and European institutions, we reinforce our sustainability commitments with a main focus on circular economy projects through the implementation of innovative methods to reduce near to zero emissions & waste and our carbon footprint while creating better products, with lower impact on the environment”, said Gheorghe Dobra, CEO of ALUM. “With this new step of vertical integration and future investments in our facilities, we are not only contributing to protecting the environment and our local community, but also to creating a potentially new and sustainable business line”, the CEO added.

The ReActiv project will deploy new technologies that will transform the bauxite residue in a re-active material for low CO2 cement production, to substitute 30% to 50% of clinker, the main component of cement. The process will provide much lower costs and will produce novel cement products with equal or better performances while reducing emissions related to production by at least 30%.

The ReActiv project aims to reduce with at least 30% the primary raw material use per tonne of cement; cut-off waste generation by at least 25%; provide significant energy savings and reductions in CO2 emissions; establish the secure and sustainable provision of secondary resources at a total cost lower than existing solutions and to provide a sustainable method that can be replicated across industries.

Furthermore, for the alumina producers, having the possibility of further usage of the bauxite residue and reintroducing it in other industries represents a significant step forward in terms of achieving a sustainable value chain. Moreover, this will relieve the ecosystems in the vicinity of alumina refineries from the stockpiling and costs associated with them, as well as developing a new business line, where its waste becomes a resource and, ultimately, a new innovative product.

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