JC Toshniwal, Executive Director, Wonder Cement.
Currently we are about 750 kg CO2 per tonne of cement which we aim to bring down to 600 in the next 3-4 years and by 2020, we may be in 550 kg of CO2 per tonne of cement, says JC Toshniwal, Executive Director, Wonder Cement. Excerpts from the interview...
What is your stated goal of reducing carbon footprint by 2020?
Ours is a new plant started a couple of year back. We have done well on fuel and power consumption, maybe, one of the lowest in fuel consumption in the country, 695 kcal of energy/kg of clinker. In power consumption, we are looking into optimizing our plant operation to bring down the power consumption and we wish to bring down it to the level of 75 kcal/tonne of cement from the current level of 82 kcal/tonne of cement. We are working on various schemes like raw mill optimization, modifications in cement grinding circuit, etc. By next one year we wish to bring it to the range of 75-76 kcal/tonne of cement.
We are also setting up a waste heat recovery (WHR) plant, which will further bring down our CO2 footprint. We have already placed the order, construction work has already started and the plant will commission in next year. We will also be starting on alternate fuels like biomass and other industry wastes which will ultimately help in reducing carbon footprint. Currently we are about 750 kg CO2 per tonne of cement which we aim to bring down to 600 in the next 3-4 years and by 2020, we may be in 550 kg of CO2 per tonne of cement.
How do you look at the sustainability issues in the cement industry?
Almost all cement plants are today working on improving their fuel efficiency, power efficiency, renewable energy, WHR, etc. So all these are now focus points towards sustainability in cement industry. Cement industry in India is one of the most efficient globally, may be better than global level, in terms of power and fuel consumption. Now the focus has gradually shifted towards renewable energy, WHR, and blended cement which also help in reducing CO2 generation. The industry is also working on reduction of SOx and NOx, which are also adverse to the environment. For this purpose, cement manufacturers are setting up different types of calciners like two-stage calciners where NOx generation is reduced. In the next 3-4 years, you can see some drastic changes in the industry on these parameters.
Could you brief us on the road map with milestones to achieve the CO2 emissions reductions?
We will bring in these in three steps, first is commissioning our WHR plant, and simultaneously we are working on alternate fuels which will be completed next year (2016) and we wish to bring down the CO2 level to 650-675 kg. In the second step we will be producing more blended cement which will help in bringing down the CO2 level.
What are the steps initiated to optimize energy efficiency?
Ours is a new plant and we have installed latest technology in place like vertical roller mills for raw material grinding which is more power efficient. We have gone with six-stage pre-heater where you can reclaim the waste heat from the waste gases. We have gone for the latest generation of grid cooler which cools down the clinker. This cooler recuperates heat and give back to the system. We have bigger size of pre-heater where power consumption drops, we have gone with combination of roller press and ball mill for cement grinding which is highly energy-efficient. Also we have Robotech lab for efficient and accurate quality control. To conserve the fossil fuel through AFR we are in the process of formulating the strategy in this direction and by middle of this year we will initiate the project and will take one year to complete the task.
What about making your plant water positive?
We should regenerate more water we have been using. We are new in this but we have already started water conservation discharging pits in the plant, but we have to do a lot in this direction. In the next 2-3 years we will have a clear roadmap on water conservation and will be water positive.
How green is your logistics?
In logistics, we are aiming to bring down to lead distance so that fossil fuel burning will come down. Second is more and more railway for movement of cement.
What are the major challenges in ´greening´ the cement industry?
Major challenges will be reduction of CO2, NOx and SOx. Because many cement plants are old and their NOx and SOx levels are higher. So there will be a challenge to reduce this. But plants like us are new and have already planned for low NOx and SOx. Water will be another challenge and water positivity will be the need of the hour in future. To reduce pollution in cement plants, today most of the plants have put pollution control equipment like bag filters, bag houses, water spray systems etc.
How green is your operation, from mining to production and dispatch of cement?
We are green as such, we have pollution control equipment in place, we are going for WHR systems, and we have initiated for alternate fuels. Though we are not fully green today, we are in the process of making most of our activities green. We are not very old in mining area, but we may go for massive plantation after mining limestone, or make them water pits which will help us in recharging the groundwater level and this will lead us to be water-positive. So mainly we are taking two major measures in this direction, greening most of the mined out areas and making water catchment area of the remaining mined fields. In the plant, we have online measuring set ups to monitor the SOx and NOx levels. We have low-NOx generating calciners, bag filters and other pollution control equipment in the plant.
How do you view the advantages of the PAT scheme?
This is a forcible measure on the industry, which will help in reducing power and fuel consumption.
Where does the company see itself five years down the line?
We will be of 10 million tonne capacity by next five years. And we will be spreading our market to the entire north, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. We will reduce our carbon footprint in the next five years to 550 kg per tonne of cement. We wish to be water-positive in next five years. We intent to substitute at least 10 per cent of our fossil fuel with alternate fuels in the next five years. And of course, WHR plant will be set up for our whole cement plant.