Dalmia will set new benchmarks in its sustainability effort

Dalmia will set new benchmarks in its sustainability effort

BK Singh, Senior Executive Director-Group Marketing & Corporate Communication, Dalmia Bharat.

Awareness of sustainability in the cement industry has picked up momentum in recent years. Several efforts are on to integrate sustainability issues (essentially in energy conservation, resource optimisation and environment) with business planning and reviews. Major focus areas for sustainability by the cement industry are energy conservation, waste heat recovery, clinker to cement factor, alternate fuel and blended cements, says BK Singh, Sr. Exec Director-Group Marketing & Corporate Communication, Dalmia Bharat. Excerpts from the interview.

What is Dalmia's stated goal on sustainability and how close are you to that dream? Dalmia Cement is a member of CSI (Cement Sustainability Initiative, under the aegis of the WBCSD, Geneva). Consequently, it is bound by the CSI's Charter on Sustainability. We adhere to the exacting and very comprehensive standards of the CSI. As a part of our commitment, we are in the process of publishing the Sustainability Report from the financial year 2013-14. In Specific Energy Consumption, we are carrying out energy audit to identify energy saving potential. Internally, an exclusive energy conservation team focuses on the critical areas of raw and coal mill, captive power plant, compressors, pumps, packing plants and ball mill. Monitoring energy consumption daily on several metrics and taking corrective measures wherever necessary.

Use of WHR: We have been using the waste heat generated from our plant to remove moisture from our product during the raw mill operation and the cement mill operation, hence conserving fuel (which would have been consumed for drying). This has a direct bearing on reducing our carbon footprint.

Use of Alternate Fuel - MSW usage: We are using municipal solid waste (MSW) as alternate fuel. We work closely with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board (TNPCB) and the Trichy municipality for incineration of MSW at our DPM plant. Necessary infrastructure is developed for drying, transporting storage and efficient feeding system in our KHD kiln. In FY'2012-13, we have utilised 1017 mt of MSW.

Pet Coke usage: Pet coke is also being used as alternate fuel in our FLS Kiln. In FY'2012-13, we used 8,543 mt of pet coke. Conceptually co-processing is very sound. However, it needs a certain ecosystem to be successfully adopted at significant levels. There are three major challenges- consistency, availability and approvals.

What is your assessment of the PAT Scheme?
What are its advantages? Our Dalmiapuram plant is participating in the PAT scheme. The PAT scheme is a very scientific approach with a robust model. At this stage, the norm fixed appears quite challenging and will call for substantial investment.

Brief us on high efficiency pollution control equipment used for cement kilns, raw mills, coal mills and power plants?
For cement kilns and raw mill, we use high efficiency reverse air baghouse and ESP; in the cement mills and coals mills, we are using high efficiency bag filters; hot ESP's are fitted in our coolers high ESP's are being used in the power plant; for material transfer points we have provided auxiliary bag filters to control fugitive emission.

What are the steps you have initiated to reduce the carbon footprint through the use of WHR?
Waste heat generated from our plant is being used to remove the moisture from our product during raw mill and cement mill operation instead of using hot air generator, thereby conserving fuel and resulting in minimising our carbon footprint.

Will Dalmia be opting for the Greenco Rating?
Not yet, but this is under active consideration.

How do you assess the challenges on the logistics front?
The most critical area in this front is safety, both inside the plant and outside. Given the nature of the industry, the operations involve bulk movement of high volume over long distances. At the industry level under the CSI forum, we conduct safety awareness and trainings on safe driving on the road. There are mandatory processes of checking road -worthiness of the vehicles, validity of the driving licenses to hygiene elements like providing clean and comfortable resting and eating places in the plant premises.

Given the limited portion of owned vehicles vs market hired vehicles, it becomes a big challenge for the transporters to enforce some of these safety guidelines. The industry has to work together to enhance this effort and provide sustainable framework for the industry as a whole

Tell us about the steps initiated to reduce water consumption.

Water management is a major activity for large cement operations like us. A comprehensive program entails focus at each stage/facet of the operations: Water recycling: At our plants, we have zero effluent discharge and are equipped with a state-of-the-art effluent treatment plant. Even the staff colony has sewage treatment plants

Rain water harvesting: Water harvesting system is adopted at our dairy farm, school, colony and mines.

Semi-dry process to dry process: We were the early adopters of the efficient new age dry process that conserves water. Our Dalmiapuram unit alone saves around 18m160 M3/annum through this process.

Water consumption reduction initiatives: Awareness creation and adoption of water conservation initiatives are key responsibilities of water conservation teams in the plants and colonies.

  • The following are few of the key steps in this endeavour: Ordinary tap cocks are replaced with lifting and push type tap cock, ensuring minimum wastage due to leakage.
  • Reducing the pumping hours of water to colony from 17 to 9 hours is achieved and sustained.
  • Regular maintenance schedules for the float valves of the overhead tanks to avoid overflow.
  • Regular inspection and repair schedules for leakage of water taps in all buildings including colony houses, schools and guest houses.
  • Awareness creation on water conservation techniques conducted in ladies clubs and schools.
  • Treated sewage water used for our colony greenery development instead of fresh water.
  • ETP reject water extended for belt spray in the KHD plant in place of fresh water spray.

    Where does the company see itself five years down the line?
    As a belief and as a commitment, we have to be compliant to the CSI charter in all respects, in about two years from now. This gives us a clear roadmap to reach the world standard in the industry in the sustainability agenda. This will be further enhanced by the KKR Green Portfolio Programme (KKR is a PE investor) thus making the whole programme more comprehensive and robust. With this Dalmia will be certainly setting new benchmarks for the Indian cement industry in its sustainability effort.

In addition to the structured programme we have adopted, the following actions will highlight our journey to a Green Dalmia:
Green Coverage
Green belt development - 3388 trees planted in FY'2012-13.
Extensive lawns -1081 sq m in FY'2012-13.

New capability building Developed capability to use MSW as alternative fuel; incinerated 1017 MT (dry basis) in our KHD kiln in FY'2012-13. Developed capability to use plastic and polythene waste as alternative fuel using the plastic shredder. So far , incinerated 68 MT in our KHD kiln. Pet coke usage at our plant as an alternative fuel. We have used 8543MT in FY'2012-13.

Green energy and resource adoption Power generation through wind mills (16.525 mw capacities)
1.Transparent roof sheets at 10 locations at the Dalmiapuram facility to utilise natural sunlight instead of electricity.
2.Rainwater harvesting pits the mines with capacity, as below:
a.50m x 30m x 5m - 7500 M3
b.52m x 45m x 3m - 7000 M3
c.30m x 20m x 3m (3 Pits)- 5400 M3
d.Rainwater harvesting pits at the dairy farm, school and residential colony.

Robust programmes
1.CSI Membership -3rd Indian company.
2.KKR green portfolio- first Indian company.
3.Energy audit by CII.
4.Carbon foot print study by CII.
5.5'S' house keeping training programme at our plant.
6.Paperless office at our hospital.


Awards- CII-ITC Sustainability Award by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

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