Environment Overview

A proud flagholder of global energy efficiency improvements, the Indian Cement Industry is a key contributor to the country’s circular economy.

The incredible commitment the industry has towards achieving sustainable environmental goals was corroborated by a cement sector report released by CDP (formerly Carbon Disclosure Project), a UK-based organisation, in April 2018. Five out of the top ten global cement companies ranked in the report’s low carbon transition league are from India.

Reduction in energy consumption has been a headline maker for the industry as it achieved specific electrical energy consumption (SEC) of 80KWh/t of cement compared to a global average of 91KWh/t. The best SEC achievement by a cement plant in India is actually as low as 64KWh/t of cement.

Five out of the top ten global cement companies ranked in CDP report’s low carbon transition league are from India.

ParticularsUOMGlobal AvgIndia BestIndia Avg
Specific Electrical Energy ConsumptionkWh/tonne of cement916480
Specific Thermal Energy ConsumptionGJ/tonne of clinker3.52.833.1

The spectacular accomplishment in energy consumption is a result of continuous work on optimising cost of operations with a distinct emphasis on energy efficiency as a driver to competitiveness and profitability. With about 50% of the industry’s manufacturing cost attributed to power and fuel, focused efforts at reducing its energy footprint was the key to converting possibilities into reality.

A top scorer in India’s Bureau of Energy Efficiency’s (BEE) Perform, Achieve and Trade (PAT) scheme for energy savings, In fact, the Indian cement industry over achieved its energy consumption targets, accomplishing  0.815 million tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) with 1.48mtoe, higher by almost 82% during PAT Cycle I.

The industry uses Computational Flow Dynamics (CFDs) model simulations to improve the performance of plant equipment such as kilns and boilers and heat recovery equipment among others.

During PAT Cycle I, a plant reported improved heat recovery with the use of cooler hot air recirculation technology. The 4,500t/day plant was able to generate 2.5tonne/hr more steam from the WHR boiler and as a result, enhanced its power generation by 10,040 KWh/day.

A large part of the industry’s work is aimed at converting climate risks into business opportunities while sustaining business growth for the benefit of stakeholders.

In a bid at leaving a better universe for future stakeholders, the industry took a pledge to minimise the use of single-use plastic and ensure effective disposal of used plastics as a part of its commitment to conserve natural resources and promote environmental sustainability.

We will have the potential to consume 12 million tonnes of plastic waste in our kilns annually by 2025, resulting in conservation of conventional fuels such as coal to the extent of 10 percent.

-Dr. Shailendra Chouksey

The best SEC achievement by a cement plant in India is actually as low as 64KWh/t of cement.

Country wise Alternative Fuel Utilisation

Source: Cement Sustainability Initiative

A major participant in the cyclical economy paradigm, the industry has increased the usage of Alternative Fuel and Raw Materials (AFR) and Waste Heat Recovery through cogeneration, adopted renewable energy, and substituted clinker with fly ash and slag. In addition, a majority of Indian cement plants are based on dry cement manufacturing technology and is a zero waste water industry.

Its efforts have clearly brought returns that should be celebrated. The sustainability engine of the industry has reduced CO2 emission levels by about 36% from 1.12 per tonne cement produced in 1996 to 0.719 per tonne in 2017.

Working towards the CO2 emission reduction target envisaged for 2050, the industry is looking at investments between US$ 29 billion and US$ 50 billion to achieve them.

The sustainability engine of the industry has reduced CO2 emission levels by about 36% from 1.12 per tonne cement produced in 1996 to 0.719 per tonne in 2017.

Trends

Dalmia Cement aims to be carbon negative by 2040.

The construction sector can reduce polluting emissions by applying efficiency measures along the whole value chain.

According to new research by Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich) and the Ecole Polytechnique de Lausanne (EPFL), such efficiencies combined with carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology could even bring down emissions to zero by 2050.

Policy Updates

The government has announced the installation of emission monitoring system at process stacks to monitor stack emission with respect to standards.

A new report by the Energy Transitions Commission shows that reaching net-zero carbon emissions from heavy industry and heavy-duty transport can be done through policy, innovation, and investment, with minimal cost to the global economy. Carbon capture (combined with use or storage) will likely be required to capture process emissions from cement and may also be the most cost-competitive decarbonization option for other sectors in several geographies.