Erratic power supply had forced several cement plants to set up their own captive power plants. But today, just setting up a power plant is not sufficient. The fuel availability in the country is not stable, nor are the prices. Constantly changing policies and variations in fuel quality have made it imperative to have multi-fuel compliant captive power plants.
Non-availability and poor quality of grid power along with exorbitantly high tariffs have pushed the cement industry to set-up Captive Power Plants (CPP). Although the availability of power is expected to improve in coming years, captive power plants do play a critical role in ensuring uninterrupted supply of electricity to the plants at reasonable cost, especially during the peak hours.
A CPP gives the company better control over its manufacturing process. These plants also make the process greener by reducing the carbon footprint. A CPP effectively utilities heat energy dissipated in the plants´ surroundings and also reduces CO2 emissions. Cement production being a thermal process lends itself effectively for captive power generation. A WHR system combined with the plant gives additional benefit of capturing waste heat from the exothermic process in the manufacturing cycle.
One of the challenges in setting up a CPP though is availability of space. As land is a costly commodity and that its acquisition is a time consuming process, making space available to set up a captive power plant is a major challenge. Manufacturers of CPPs have realised this and are now introducing compact plants that have limited space requi¡rements. Today a 100 MW plant can easily be set up in 5-6 acres of land. As the availability of fuel changes from time to time, CPP suppliers are increasingly recommending and building plants that run on fuels of different type and grades. Erratic availability of coal and variations in the fuel grade, have encouraged the industry to opt for multi-fuel CPPs.
In our interaction with the leading suppliers and users of CPPs we gain insights into the advantage and the possibilities offered by these systems.
Leading suppliers of the CPP in India
Bijendra Heavy Electricals
Hindustan Electricity Generation Company