We have a very strict target on reducing specific energy consumption

We have a very strict target on reducing specific energy consumption

Suman Mukherjee, Managing Director and CEO - India, Shree Digvijay Cement,Votorantim Cimentos EAA .

As a member of CSI companies, with WHR and various other energy- saving measures already in place and plans for AFR underway, we look forward as befits an energy-efficient and carbon- positive company in the industry,' says Suman Managing Director and CEO India, Sree Digvijay Cement,Votorantim Cimentos EAA .In an exclusive interview with ICR, Mukherjee spells out the sustainability initiatives taken by the company.

How do you look at the sustainability issuesin the cement industry in terms of energy efficiency, environment protection, CO2 reduction, etc?
Though the Indian cement industry is one of the most efficient in the world, it still produced 137 mt of CO2 in 2010 - approximately 7 per cent of India's total man-made CO2 emissions. The Indian cement industry has made strong efforts to reduce its carbon footprint. It has successfully reduced CO2 emission from 1.12 T CO2 per tonne cement in 1996 to 0.719 T CO2/T cement in 2010. Key levers to reduce emission in the Indian cement industry are increased rates of blending leading to a reduction in clinker to cement ratio, increased use of AFR, widespread implementation of WHR, transportation of raw materials through conveyor belt instead of road transport, installation of various VFD/high energy- efficient equipment to reduce SPC. In line with this, a low-carbon technology roadmap for the Indian cement industry was launched on 25th February, 2013 with a targeted estimated emission of 0.35 T CO2/t cement in 2050, about 45 per cent reduction from its level in 2010. Cement manufacturing process from surface mining/quarrying, more usage of WHR, locating main clinkerisation unit near limestone deposits, transporting clinker through rail, transporting fly ash through pipeline are a few measures which will help in achieving and sustaining this targets.

What is SDCC Cement's stated goal on sustainability?
SDCCL, a wholly-owned Votorantim group company, is one of the member companies of CSI in developing a low carbon roadmap for the Indian cement industry. We have already commissioned the WHR system in our plant. We are working on AFR, we are following surface mining at the quarry. We have a very strict target on reducing specific energy consumption. In line with that, we have installed various VFD/high energy efficient equipment to achieve that. The technical centre from the group is supporting various countries worldwide to reduce energy consumption. We are also part of the PAT scheme. To achieve our set targets in PAT, we are working on various fronts of SEC reduction.

What are you doing towards reducing your carbon footprint through WHR systems?
We have installed and commissioned the WHR system in our plant. This utilises the waste heat/flue gas from kiln/pre-heater/DG sets/cooler, to generate power. This flue gas is utilised to generate steam inside boiler which in turn, is utilised to rotate turbine for power generation. This is a very useful system to get carbon credit emission as well as to reduce power costs. This also reduces usage of DG sets/grid power which reduces CO2 emission.

How green is SDCC Cement's operation, from mining to production and despatch of cement?
We use surface miner in mining operations. We have installed a zero- leakage damper at raw mill inlet, replaced raw mill six cyclones, improved sealing arrangements in rotary air locks, replaced raw mill outlet ducts, expansions of point cloth, provided step chute instead of belt conveyor, optimised overall process for increased output and reduced SPC. We have also installed VFD across various stages in the process to reduce energy consumption. We are increasing fly ash percentage addition in PPC, thus improving overall cement-to-clinker ratio. We have taken several CAPEX to reduce CO2 emission and also taking various measures to stop DG usage.

Tell us about the advantages of the PAT scheme ?
PAT is the energy conservation drive launched by BEE (Bureau of Energy Efficiency) under National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency. Base line figures are average of the past three years (2007-08, 2008-09 & 2009-10). Target has been given by BEE to reduce from baseline figures in a span of three years, starting April, 2012 and ending March, 2015. PAT (Perform- Achieve-Trade) is applicable for energy intensive industries. It covers 563 designated consumers in 8 sectors. The energy specific improvement target would have to be unit specific. Each Designated Consumers (DC) is mandated to reduce its special energy consumption (SEC) by a fixed percentage based on its current SEC (or baseline SEC) within the sectorial bandwidth. In the Indian scenario, if we look at it percentage- wise, on an average, 40 per cent energy is consumed by industry, 7 per cent by agriculture and fisheries, 43 per cent commercial and services, 10 per cent household and others. This PAT scheme is participated by designated consumers of energy intensive sectors-thermal power plant/iron and steel/cement/fertilizer/textile/pulp and paper/chloro-alkali. SDCC is a member of PAT scheme. We have taken various energy savings measure to achieve our targets. At the end of the third year, energy saving certificate will be issued to a DC, who will achieve target reduction from baseline. DC who will fail to achieve the target, penalty linked with value of non compliance will be imposed. This ES Certificate can be traded to others who fail to meet their target. This trading can be carried out between any two DCs. The exchange will also maintain data on traded prices, traded volume and trend. Special trading platforms will be created in the two Power Exchanges (IEX and PXIL). This scheme will be very effective across the industry. It is directly linked with profitability in the long term; it will help in reducing costs and improving profitability.

How do you assess the challenges on the logistics front?
After increase of rail freight, rail dispatch becomes costlier. The recent increase in fuel price has also increased the road freight cost. Because of subdued demand, prices are crashing as a result EBITDA and profit margin are under huge pressure. Transportation of raw materials through conveyor belt wherever possible, transportation of fly ash through pipeline, coal import through sea route (we have a captive jetty), dispatch through rail, are initiatives which will reduce input cost as well as reduce CO2 emission to improve our carbon footprint.

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