Plants must have flexibility to utilise all alternative fuels
What are some the main AFRM being used by cement plants in India?
As far as ATS is concerned, in India, we are in regular contact with cement manufacturers mainly in Gujarat, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. Cement plants located in in these regions mainly use agriculture waste and Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) such as shredded tyres. We provide a system that can utilise different types of alternative fuels. Some of the plants also use pharma sludge. Being a very sticky material, it has to be mixed with sawdust to make it properly flow through our system. Any industrial waste having a good calorific value can be consumed by a cement plant.
How easy or difficult is it to source AFRM?
All cement manufacturers have dedicated divisions that look around for alternative fuels. They are in regular touch with other industries for rejects with good calorific value. Some manufacturers have even set-up test laboratories to check the utility of such materials. This recycling of industrial waste is done on a negative cost basis. But plants using agricultural waste have to pay for it. For RDF, they are mostly in touch with municipalities.
How have Indian cement manufacturers responded to AFRM?
Lafarge and Holcim has a global policy on AFRM. It has reached out to several industries and municipalities to source such materials. We have worked with it on projects for ACC and Ambuja. Although other cement manufacturers are also trying to follow suit, they also want an assured supply of fuel. However, since you cannot rely on a single source if you are using AFRM, one must be flexible about accepting all alternatives and prepare the cement plant accordingly.