We will certainly consider going for Greenco rating in future
How do you look at the sustainability issues in the cement industry?
Cement industry fundamentally is an energy intensive operation and not at all environmentally friendly by nature. Furthermore, it consumes large amounts of non-renewable raw materials and generates substantial amounts of carbon dioxide and environmental particulate matter in the process. It is estimated that 5-6 per cent of all carbon dioxide greenhouse gases generated by human activities originate from cement production alone.
Cement industry has to place the sustainability of the planet and the welfare of future generations high on their agenda before profit making only, and step up to their environmental responsibility. It is simply too important an industrial sector for mankind to go without, and it is possible with current technology and will power to operate in both a sustainable as well as economically profitable way. In order to minimize the impact of all of the above-mentioned issues, it is clear that the cement and construction industry will have to adapt to remain sustainable and in the process, adopt a number of innovative and new practices.
What are the possible ways to increase sustainability in the cement industry?
Few of the possible ways to increase sustainability in cement production could be:
- Use of latest technology equipment/technology up gradation for older plants
- Waste heat recovery boilers should be installed to generate power from waste hot gases
- Use of alternative raw materials (industrial by products and wastes) from those currently employed
- Use of fluxes to lower the burning temperature in cement kiln to lower the energy consumption
- Use of chemical gypsum to the optimum level so that mineral gypsum may be conserved
- Use of grinding aids to reduce electrical energy consumption for cement grinding
- Production of blended cements such as PPC, PSC, limestone blended cement etc.
However, judging from the possibilities to improve sustainability by optimizing the raw material supply, adopting latest energy efficient technologies, optimizing the production process, substituting alternative fuels and raw materials, and finally blending the final product with suitable admixtures, it seems that the emphasis of most cement producers is still focused on selected parts of these different possibilities, especially the final substitution of cement by various mineral admixtures. It is therefore imperative for the cement producers to adapt fast enough and to a sufficient degree to exploiting all the possible options to reduce their environmental footprint.
Brief us on the steps initiated by JSW to reduce the carbon footprint.
AFR: Use of pet coke, carbon black from tyre chips, and waste from JSW Steel etc, are being used to conserve fossil fuels.
Renewable energy: Feasibility study in progress to install solar power system and wind mill installation at cement mill dust collector fan outlet WHR systems: We have planned to install 9 MW WHRPP to recover the waste heat generated from preheater and clinker cooler. This will help us to reduce our carbon footprint to a large extent.
Water positive: We are a water positive unit; i.e. our total water recharge exceeds the groundwater withdrawal. However, we will further reduce our specific water consumption by utilizing more slag on one hand while improving the process and equipment efficiency with respect to water consumption.
Logistics: Gradual increase in rail movement (inward and outward)
What is your goal of reducing carbon footprint by 2020?
We plan a 20 per cent reduction from the present level.
Which are the key levers you have identified to reduce the carbon footprint?
- Reduction in special thermal and electrical energy consumption through process optimization
- Increase in addition of slag content in PSC
- Increase in production of PSC and GGBS
- Increase in rail movement (inward and outward)
- Maximum utilisation of industrial waste generated at JSW Steel (slag, raw material supplement such as flue dust, Corex sludge etc.)
- Maximum utilisation of chemical gypsum by replacing imported mineral gypsum Installation of waste heat recovery power plant in the existing kiln
- Use of renewable energy
- Benchmarking with best-in-class and global players
- Carbon footprint estimation in line with CSI/WBCSD protocol by an external and recognised agency
- Energy audit of the entire facility by accredited energy auditors in order to pinpoint areas for reduction in energy consumption
- Increased production and sale of PSC with corresponding reduction in OPC supplies
- Increase in slag addition in PSC to optimum level
- Sale of GGBS to RMC units and construction industries
- Process optimization, minor modifications and debottlenecking with a view to improving overall plant energy performance
How green is your operation, from mining to production and dispatch of cement?
Since out plant is designed for PSC and GGBS production, we are far greener than OPC and PPC producing industries. The key ´Green areas´ are highlighted below:
- Reduced material extraction (tonne of limestone/tonne of cement) from the quarries thus reduced loss to natural landscaping compared to OPC/PPC producing cement plants
- Controlled blasting technique is used to reduce dust, noise, vibration and fly rock generation
- Optimum utilisation of subgrade limestone
- Entire top soil generated from mines is used for greenbelt development
- Use of flue dust (waste from steel plant) in place of iron ore to supplement Fe2O3 in raw mix
- Most energy efficient grinding mills (Combi Roller Press) installed
- Six-stage pre-heater system with inline calciner
- Low SOx and NOx generation from pyro-processing. (Inline calciner and low NOx burner provided)
- All pollution control equipment (bag house and bag filters) are designed to control dust emission below 30 mg/Nm3
- Extensive utilisation of industrial wastes such as slag, pet coke, raw mix additives etc.
- 65 per cent of the total gypsum we use in cement manufacturing is chemical gypsum sourced from fertiliser industries
- Production of environment-friendly products by using blast furnace slag û PSC, GGBS and slag sand
- We are supplying GGBS directly to RMC plants to help them reduce their own carbon foot prints. In this way, we are indirectly contributing to GHG emission reduction.
Brief us on the equipment used in your plants.
We have installed high-efficiency bag houses designed to control dust emission below 10 mg/Nm3 in all sections viz, kiln and raw mill, clinker cooler, coal mill, cement and slag mills etc. These bag houses are designed to operate at about 99.9 per cent efficiency.
How many of your plants are Greenco rated?
So far none of our plants is Greenco rated. However, in future we will certainly consider going for Greenco rating.
Where does the company see itself five years down the line?
The company in the next five years clearly looks at being one of the strongest players in the cement category having a wide spread distribution network and strong brand.