Feasibility study to use waste as fuel for cement factories in Mozambique


This Technology Transfer Advances Mozambique's:


Municipal solid waste (MSW) management is a growing problem in Mozambique. It is estimated that Mozambique generates approximately 2.5 million tons of municipal solid waste per year, of which organic waste constitutes approximately 60%. The final destination of solid waste in Mozambique is mostly open bins and uncontrolled dumpsites, with no or very little waste treatment. Simultaneously, the cement industry in Mozambique has been developing rapidly in recent years. The cement manufacturing process requires extremely high temperatures, which consume about ten times more energy than the average amount required by other manufacturing processes.

Technology Request

Mozambique's Ministry of Earth, Environment and Rural Development requested support in assessing the technical and financial feasibility for utilisation of municipal solid waste as refuse derived fuel (RDF) to power cement factories in Mozambique.

CTCN Support

The CTCN and partner UNEP DTU Partnership provided the following technology assistance, with focus on two urban cities: Maputo and Matola:

  • Development of technical specifications needed to develop an energy supply from waste 
  • Recommendations to cement factories on how to adapt their infrastructure to receive and utilise refuse derived fuel (RDF
  • Proposal for a monitoring and evaluation system to estimate impact in terms of greenhouse gases
  • Analysis of potential funding opportunities which might support financing of technology needs

This technical assistance involved collaboration with the Mozambican public sector including the Ministry of Earth, Environment and Rural Development; the Association of Municipalities; and the Fund of the Environment (FUNAB); the private sector (AMOR, 3R, Cimentos de Mocambique, and Carbon Africa) and the municipalities Maputo and Matola.

For more detailed information, please refer to full project documents under the documents section below.

Relevant Technologies and Approaches

Expected Impacts

Short Term

  • Enhanced understanding of waste materials as a potential resources
  • Improved cooperation and synergies between the Mozambican public and private sector, improving dialog and further stakeholders in both sectors.

Medium Term

  • Cement kilns are able to use energy generated by the waste material
  • Decrease in consumption of non-renewable resources 
  • Longer useful life of waste disposal sites 
  • Creation of value added for the waste sector, due to revalorization of waste that has currently no value or use on the market 
  • Increase of local and national value chains, integrating the waste sector with the industry and energy market in the country 
  • Job creation 
  • Elimination of health problems of population living/working close to inadequate disposal sites 
  • Reduction of water pollution, which is normally caused by leachate from inadequate disposal of organic waste

Long Term

  • Reduction of greenhouse gases  from the waste and cement sector, through the replacement of fossil fuel with fuel made of municipal waste for the cement production processes and the environmentally sound treatment of organic and residual waste which will limit methane emissions
  • Creation of a circular economy in the country, representing a good case study to be replicated among other economic sectors in the country and the region.‚Äč

Gender Considerations

In Mozambique, the majority of the work force in waste management is formed by women who are active in informal waste collection and recycling. Frequently, women work in open landfills without any protective clothes, making them and their families more susceptible to health problems related to waste handling (respiratory and skin diseases among others). This technical assistance aimed to address this problem transforming informal waste picking on the streets and open dumps, to creation of formal jobs in the transfer and recycling centers, where women will be hired for work in formal waste management processes. While this process needs to be monitored and adjusted as needed, the intention is that this intervention can provide more socially inclusive jobs, appropriate working conditions, and higher and more stable incomes for women, creating enabling conditions to support women's empowerment in Mozambique. 


Date of submission
Budget range
Waste management

Project details

Final type of assistance
Feasibility of technology options
Request NDE
Ministry for Science and Technology
UNEP Copenhagen Climate Centre (UNEP-CCC)
This technical assistance advances the following Sustainable Development Goals

Key documents