We are in a position to generate ESCerts
Zuari Cement has three plants, which include two manufacturing units at Sitapuram and Yerraguntla, and a grinding centre at Chennai. The total production per year is 6.2 million tonnes; the company has a captive power plant at Sitapuram with a capacity of 43 MW which augments its power capabilities. Zuari Cement has been looking for increasingly better ways to conserve energy. Gopi Ranganathan, Senior General Manager Operations of Zuari Cement outlines the company's path towards a greener and energy efficient processes. Excerpts from the interview.
How is the industry coping with rising cost of energy?
We view this as an opportunity to improve our efficiency by revisiting our internal systems and processes, with the objective of making them more robust. This approach helps us to minimise the impact of the setback of rising costs. Zuari Cement has invested significantly on sourcing renewable energy by way of setting up a solar park and will shortly do so in a wind farm too.
How do you rate your company when it comes to energy efficiency?
We have done a number of modifications, both major and minor, to improve the efficiency of our plants. The new production line, which was commissioned at Yerraguntla in 2010, is a highly modern facility with state- of -the- art machinery and equipment. However, depending on availability of resources, there are more opportunities that can be availed of, to improve our efficiencies further.
Have you done any modifications to help conserve energy?
We have taken the help of various internal and external agencies to perform an energy audit of our plants. Experts have given several recommendations and the suggested improvements are in various stages of implementation.
What are your plans for improving energy efficiency?
We have a number of ongoing initiatives focused on Alternative Fuels, clinker /cement ratio, waste heat recovery and other regular efficiency improvement actions due to which we will definitely be better in the next 2-3 years. The new line at Gulbarga expected to go onstream in 2016 will help our company's energy efficiency further.
Are you geared to take advantage of the PAT initiative?
We have evaluated our situation with respect to PAT and are happy to state that, thanks to the various initiatives taken in the last three to four years, we will not only be in full compliance but will also be in a position to generate ESCerts which we hope to sell.
Were there any challenges in the purchase of RECs?
For the year 2012, in order to comply with our RPO, we purchased all our RECs from exchanges like Indian Energy Exchange and Power Exchange India Limited, and the services were quite satisfactory.
What is your RPO target for the year and your plans to meet it?
Our RPO target is approx 750 MWH of solar and 14,000 MWH of non- solar RPOs. Thanks to our 550 KW Captive Solar Power plant at Yerraguntla, we will be able to meet our solar RPO internally. For our non-solar RPO, we have various strategies out of which we are actively considering our options for a captive / group captive wind farm.