Greening Construction Sector in Egypt: Industrial Application of Slag from Iron and Steel Industry in Road Construction

Friday, 26 June 2015 10:59 Written by 
  • Location(s): Egypt
  • Type(s): Solution
  • Theme(s): Sustainable Development, Technology
  • SDG(s): 11. Sustainable cities and communities
  • Locations in the Arab States: Egypt
  • Types in the Arab States: Solution
  • Themes in the Arab States: Sustainable Development, Technology
  • SDGs in the Arab States: 11. Sustainable cities and communities

Egypt produces about 20 million tons per annum of Iron and Steel through 10 major companies resulting in about 2.5 million tons of slag (around 8 % of steel production) as a byproduct of the production process which has significant environmental and economical burden for the iron and steel sector. Once scorned as a useless by-product, it is now accepted and, often, preferred and specified as it is known to be a valuable material with many and variable applications.

The project is aimed to contribute to the solution of the problem of slag waste from the iron and steel Industry taking a case study of one company which produces about million tons of iron and steel per year with around 90 -100 thousand tons/year of slag. On the other hand, the project is intended to build a pilot road with a use of slag in the three layers of the road (sub-base, base course, surface layers). 

The project has assisted to the iron and steel sector in Egypt to identify and implement an appropriate industrial application solution for slag problem and contributed to raising awareness among the competent stakeholders on the requirements for applying slag in road construction instead of natural materials.

The solution has brought changes to the conventional way of iron and steel production with a delivery of impacts in three areas: 

  1. Environmental Benefits:
    • Re-use of industrial waste as raw materials in the process of road construction
    • Reduce the accumulation of solid waste in the iron and steel companies, which is considered a national problem
    • Improve the working environment by reducing emissions generated by the accumulation of slag
    • Natural Resources Conservation
  2. Economic Benefits:
    • Reuse of non-valuable slag as valuable aggregate in road construction
    • Minimize big area occupied by this huge amount of slag and reuse it with saving 2 million pounds annually from using the land within the company yard for other purposes instead of using it for storage of slag
    • Solve the national problem of accumulation of slag from all iron and steel companies
    • Eliminate dumping cost and raise the quality of roads and reduce the maintenance costs of roads
    • Reduce the costs of safe disposal of waste slag by an estimated 10 million pounds annually
    • Saving of natural resources such as limestone and dolomite used traditionally in road construction
    • Improve the working environment by reducing emissions generated by the accumulation of slag
  3. Social Benefits:
    • Providing low - cost solution for road construction especially in low-income villages
    • Creation of SMEs for the preparation and using of slag in road construction.

The project represents an illustrative example of an exchange of expertise and know-how of: 

  • Building technical capacity for national expert for using iron and steel slag in road construction
  • Development of business model of cooperation between public, private and technical institutions for waste management projects
  • Development of standards for slag use in construction as a valuable material.

Egypt National Cleaner Production Center - Ministry of Industry and Trade, National Roads and Bridges Authority, Road Construction Companies, Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency, Egyptian Standardization Organization, Iron and Steel Company 

Contact details: 
Ali Abo Sena
ENCPC Director 
Egypt National Cleaner Production Centre (ENCPC) at the Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade
Part of UNIDO/UNEP Resource Efficient and Cleaner Production (RECP) Network 
26 A Sherif Street, Emobillia Building, 5th Floor, Down Town, Cairo, Egypt 
Tel: +2 02 239 16 15 4
Fax:+2 02 239 25 984
Mobile :+2 0100 290 7727
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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