Rain Cements is one of the best energy-efficient cement plants in Andhra Pradesh

Rain Cements is one of the best energy-efficient cement plants in Andhra Pradesh

VM Moorthy, Senior General Manager (Tech), Rain Cements

Rain Cements has taken immense efforts to raise our energy efficiency, Today our efforts have made Rain cements one of the most energy-efficient cement plant in Andhra Pradesh, says VM Moorthy, Senior General Manager (Tech), Rain Cements. Excerpts from the interview.

What operational measures have you taken to conserve energy in your plant?
Firstly, we have been doing regular energy audits of the company. Such audits bring out any faults in our system and highlight energy leaks. They help us identify areas of improvements. We have been able to save ourselves from considerable energy wastage by taking corrective action to fix issues highlighted during the audit process.

We did a few improvements recently including installing variable frequency drive for fans, optimised compressed air usage and replaced inefficient water pumps with energy efficient pumps. We also saved energy by converting pneumatic equipment in to mechanical equipment wherever possible. Also, conversion of kiln electrostatic precipitator into Reverse Air Bag House (RABH) reduced energy consumption further. We are aware of the immense potential for energy saving with Waste Heat Recovery systems. Going for WHR is one of the best investments that one can make for saving energy in a cement industry. We are planning for it.

Are you geared to take advantage of the PAT initiative?
Yes, we are well in position to take advantage of the Perform Achieve and Trade initiative and have been recognised in the industry as one of the leaders running plant energy efficiently. Recently, the Non-conventional Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh [NEDCAP] awarded us the first prize for our success with energy conservation.

Were there any challenges in the purchase of RECs?
We think that instead of purchasing Renewable Energy Certificate (REC) investing on solar and renewable energy is a better option in the long run. There may be challenges in selling the accumulated REC but not so while purchasing them.

What is your RPO target and how do you plan to meet it?
We have planned to generate 0.25 per cent of our power requirement from solar energy and 4.75 per cent is to be made available from renewable energy source. This is the target set by Andhra Pradesh Electricity Regulatory Commission's (APERC). We are planning to install a solar plant in the FY-2014 to meet 0.25 per cent and for the balance 4.75 per cent of renewable energy, REC will be purchased.

What is the scope for using fly ash in cement manufacture?
Fly ash is one of the pollutants and waste material generated in thermal power plant. It is one of the best energy savers in the cement industry. By using more fly ash, cement industries are helping our nation to stay clean and green but unfortunately the government is levying excise duty on fly ash, which is quite unfair.

To what extent can IT be harnessed to save energy?
Incorporating any energy management system definitely helps the plant manager to keep a control on day to day energy consumption. So IT definitely has great scope in this area.

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