The Adani Group has announced the opening of its Rs 31,000 crore open offer to buy a further 26 per cent of the publicly traded Indian subsidiaries of Swiss company Holcim, ACC Ltd. and Ambuja Cements, from the public shareholders. The Adani Group stated in May of this year that it had reached an agreement to pay US$ 10.5 billion for a majority interest in Holcim Ltd.’s Indian assets. Last week, the open offer received approval from the market regulator Sebi.
Greener energy has a positive impact on manufacturing
Sameer Kumar Pujari, Senior General Manager, JK Cement, elaborates on the role played by technology, alternative raw materials, cost, infrastructure and local regulations in making cement manufacturing process more energy efficient.
Tell us about the role of energy in the manufacturing of cement? What is the volume of your organisation’s energy consumption?
The role of energy in the manufacturing of cement is significant as it is one of the most energy-intensive industries globally. The production of cement involves several energy-intensive processes, from the extraction and crushing of raw materials to production of clinker and finally converting it into cement.
The production of cement consumes large quantities of energy in the form of thermal and electrical. This requires approximately 3.2 GJ to 5.0 GJ of energy per tonne of clinker produced. As an energy intensive industry, thermal energy used in the cement industry accounts for about 20–25 per cent of the production cost. The typical electrical energy consumption of a modern cement plant is about 70 KWh to 80 KWh per tonne of cement. In the manufacturing process, thermal energy is used mainly during the burning process, while maximum share of electrical energy is used for cement grinding.
Our SEC is approximately 61.8KWH/T cement and specific thermal energy is 3.18 GJ/tonne of cement. We are proud to share that our IU at Muddapur Karnataka and GU at Jhajjar, Haryana, are national leaders in energy and have been awarded by renowned organisations like Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). The source of energy in cement manufacturing is fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) and alternative fuels (biomass/waste material/municipal waste etc.).
Other than above, we also use renewable energy solar/wind, WHRS and grid power to produce cement.
What are the various modes of energy sources used by your organisation for its manufacturing needs?
We use fossil fuels as the energy source for manufacturing needs. This includes coal, oil, and natural gas, which are burned in kilns to generate the heat necessary for the production process. We are also utilising alternative fuels to reduce usage of fossil fuels and promote sustainable practices. These alternative fuels can include RDF, biomass, such as rice/mustard husk or agricultural waste as well as waste materials like shredded tires or sewage sludge. By using these alternative fuels, we are not only progressing towards carbon neutrality but also contributing to waste management efforts.
We are using solar, wind and WHRS, too. We are procuring renewable energy through open access. Our capacity in WHRS is 62 MW, solar is 20 MW and we are progressing towards the goal of green cement by 2030. Our Muddapur, Karnataka, plant has achieved 100 per cent renewable energy uses at zero grid consumption through open access.
Which of the said energy sources yields maximum productivity for the plant and which yields the least?
The productivity of different energy sources for cement plants can vary depending on various factors such as technology being used, availability, cost, infrastructure and local regulations. Here are some examples:
Fossil fuels (e.g., coal, oil, and natural gas): Traditionally been the primary energy source for cement production due to their high energy content. However, they contribute significantly to carbon emissions and are considered non-renewable resources.
Biomass: Biomass, such as agricultural residues or dedicated energy crops, can be used as an alternative fuel source in cement production. Its productivity can vary depending on the availability and sustainability of biomass feedstock.
Waste materials: Certain waste materials, such as shredded tires or municipal solid waste, can be used as alternative fuels in cement kilns. The productivity of waste materials as an energy source depends on their calorific value, availability, and proper waste management practices.
Renewable energy sources: Renewable energy sources like solar, wind or geothermal power can be utilised to generate electricity for cement plants. Their productivity depends on factors such as location, resource availability and the ability to integrate them into the plant’s
It is important to note that each cement plant may have unique circumstances and considerations when choosing an energy source. The optimal solution often involves a combination of different energy sources and technologies to achieve maximum productivity while minimising environmental impact.
What are the alternative energy sources that are being adapted by the cement industry and your organisation?
Generally fossil fuels such as coal, petroleum coke and natural gas provide the thermal energy required for the cement industry. With increasing economic benefits in usage of alternative fuel (AF) over conventional fuels gives high thrust on usage of AF. Other factors, which give a push to usage of AF, are limited resources of fossil fuel and environmental concerns. AF covers all non-fossil fuels and waste from other industries including tire-derived fuels, biomass residues, sewage sludge and different commercial wastes. The kiln used in cement manufacturing is able to burn a wide range of materials due to the long exposure time at high temperatures (up to 1400oC), intrinsic ability of clinker to absorb and lock contaminants into the clinker and the alkalinity of the kiln environment. Materials like waste oils, plastics, waste tires and sewage sludge are being adopted as alternative fuels by the cement industries. Biomass waste and spent pot linings produced in aluminium smelters are also identified as potential alternative fuels for the cement industry.
Our organisation uses almost all kinds of plastic wastes, non-hazardous and hazardous waste, and biomass. We have a dedicated AFR feeding system in our plants. We initially focused on using plastic waste, shredded RDF. Slowly and gradually, we increased our capacity and started using hazardous materials also. For the processing of hazardous waste, we needed impregnation material like biomass such as rice husk, saw dust, wood chips, etc. So, we started utilising them in smaller proportions. And with the experience so far, now we are consuming around 20 per cent to 25 per cent of hazardous solid waste, 40 per cent to 50 per cent MSW/RDF waste, and up to 25 per cent non-hazardous solid wastes.
What is the impact of greener energy sources on the productivity and cost of cement manufacturing?
Greener energy has a positive impact on manufacturing, including commercial and technical aspects. Here are some potential impacts:
- Productivity: Greener energy sources have a positive impact on the productivity of cement manufacturing. For example, using alternative fuels like biomass or waste materials can provide a reliable and consistent source of heat for kilns, ensuring a stable production process. This can help reduce downtime and improve overall productivity.
- Cost: The cost implications of using greener energy sources in cement manufacturing can also vary. In some cases, alternative energy sources may be more cost-effective compared to traditional fossil fuels as AF gives additional revenue to consumers of AF. Additionally, utilising waste materials as alternative fuels can reduce waste disposal costs for cement plants.
- Energy efficiency: Greener energy sources often promote energy efficiency in cement manufacturing. For example, using renewable energy sources like solar or wind power can reduce reliance on fossil fuels and decrease energy consumption. This can result in cost savings and improved overall efficiency.
- Environmental impact: One of the key benefits of greener energy sources in cement manufacturing is the reduction in environmental impact. By transitioning to alternative fuels or renewable energy sources, cement plants can significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution associated with traditional fossil fuel combustion. This can contribute to environmental sustainability goals and help meet regulatory requirements.
- It is important to note that the specific impact on productivity and cost will depend on the individual circumstances of each cement organisation, including factors such as location, availability of resources, technological capabilities and government policies or incentives.
How does automation and technology help in optimising the use of energy in cement plants?
Automation and technology play a pivotal role in optimising the use of energy in cement plants. We are using VFD, Smart MCC, Sensors, Integrated Load Management System, Energy Monitoring System and Smart Lighting System for effectively optimising the use of energy in our organisation.
Here are some ways which helps to reduce the energy:
- Energy monitoring and control: Automation systems can continuously monitor energy consumption in various parts of the cement plant, such as kilns, mills, and crushers. This real-time data allows operators to identify pilferage processes or equipment and optimise energy usage.
- Process optimisation: Advanced control systems and predictive analytics can optimise the cement manufacturing process to minimise energy consumption. By analysing data from various sensors and instruments, these technologies can identify opportunities for energy savings and automatically adjust parameters to achieve optimal efficiency.
- Energy management systems: Automation systems can integrate with energy management systems to provide a holistic view of energy usage across the entire plant. This allows operators to track energy performance and accordingly set targets, and implement energy-saving measures effectively.
- Load management: Automation systems can optimise the scheduling and sequencing of equipment to ensure a balanced load distribution, reducing peak demand and improving overall energy efficiency. For example, by coordinating the operation of kilns, mills, and other machinery, the system can minimise energy wastage during periods of low demand.
- Energy recovery: Automation technology can facilitate the implementation of energy recovery systems in cement plants. For instance, waste heat from kilns can be captured and used to generate electricity or provide heat for other processes, reducing the reliance on external energy sources.
- Equipment optimisation: Automation systems can monitor the performance of individual equipment and identify inefficiencies or malfunctions that may contribute to excessive energy consumption. By providing real-time alerts and diagnostics, operators can take corrective actions promptly, ensuring optimal equipment performance and energy usage.
- Overall, automation and technology enable cement plants to have better visibility, control and optimisation of energy usage. This leads to improved energy efficiency, cost savings and reduced environmental impact.
What are the major challenges your organisation faces in managing the
We are facing challenges of imposition of power curtailment from grid mostly at our
Grid disturbances and power outages There is high volatile market and heavy fluctuations in fuel sourcing
- Energy cost volatility: Cement production is highly energy-intensive, and the cost of energy can fluctuate significantly. This makes it challenging to plan and budget for energy needs effectively an increase in the prices of fossil fuel would adversely impact the industry, leading to an increase in production costs, however we focused on driving optimisation of fuel mix, energy efficiency and use of alternative fuel to mitigate this
- Ageing infrastructure: To upgrade or replace the ageing infrastructure/ systems can be expensive and may require significant downtime. However, we have completed the brownfield modernisation of our Nimbahera Line-3, with the kiln now capable of producing 6,500 TPD, against the earlier capacity of 5,000 TPD. The brownfield projects that have been undertaken over the past few years have been delivering greater efficiencies in the form of reduced power and fuel consumption and increased WHR.
Tell us about the compliance and standards followed by you to maintain energy use and efficiency in the organisation.
Some of the key regulations and standards include:
- ISO 50001: This international standard provides a framework for organisations to establish, implement, maintain, and improve an energy management system. We are ISO 50001 certified company and regularly enhance our energy performance, identify energy-saving opportunities and comply with energy management requirements.
- PAT Compliance: PAT is a mechanism for improvements in energy efficiency of energy intensive industries. Specific high energy intensive industries are identified as Designated Consumers (DC) within certain key sectors, who are required to appoint an energy manager, file energy consumption returns every year and conduct mandatory energy audits regularly. The key tasks in the PAT mechanism is to set the methodology for deciding the Specific Energy Consumption (SEC) norms for each designated consumers in the baseline year and in the target years, devise verification process for SEC, finding ways of issuing the Energy Savings Certificates, operationalisation of the trading process for ESCert in addition to the compliance and reconciliation process for ESCert.
To ensure compliance with these regulations and standards, JK Cement regularly monitors our energy consumption, implements energy management systems, conducts energy audits, invests in energy-efficient technologies, and reports the emissions and energy performance to relevant authorities. Additionally, we collaborate with industry associations, research institutions and government agencies to stay updated on evolving regulations and best practices in energy management.
How often are audits done to ensure optimum use of energy? What is the suggested duration for the same?
- We conduct energy audits every year as a part of energy management practices. This allows us to assess the energy performance, identify areas for improvement and implement energy-saving measures.
- We have formed internal management teams across our plants where we closely monitorour energy consumption on a daily basis. We fix our best targets across the locationsand further compare and revise our targets to further optimisation.
What kind of innovations in the area of energy consumption do you wish to see in the cement industry?
Some potential innovations in the area of
energy consumption that we may wish to see in the cement industry:
• Alternative fuel sources: Increased utilisation of alternative fuels, such as biomass, waste materials, or renewable energy sources, can reduce reliance on fossil fuels and lower carbon emissions.
• Energy-efficient technologies: The adoption of advanced technologies, such as more efficient kilns, improved heat recovery systems, and optimised grinding processes, can help reduce energy consumption in cement production.
• Carbon capture and utilisation: Implementing carbon capture, storage, and utilisation (CCUS) technologies can help capture and store carbon dioxide emissions from cement plants or utilise them in other industrial processes.
• Process optimisation through AI: Continuous process optimisation through AI data analytics, machine learning, and automation can identify areas of inefficiency and enable real-time adjustments to optimise energy consumption.
• Circular economy practises: Adopting circular economy principles, such as recycling and reusing waste materials or by-products from cement production, can reduce resource consumption and minimise environmental impact.
• Collaborative research and development: Encouraging collaboration between industry stakeholders, researchers and governments can drive innovation in energy-efficient cement production technologies and practices.
• We want to innovate to produce entirely green cement with sustainability and to achieve our net zero target by 2030.
• Cement manufacturing with an alternative of fly ash and lesser water curing requirements also plants with less heat consumption during clinker production such as in LC3 cement.
Gaztron : Transforming the Cement Industry’s Safety Standards with Unparalleled Innovation
Gaztron proudly stands as India’s foremost manufacturer and a pioneering leader in the nation’s nitrogen inertisation systems, dedicated to elevating safety standards within the cement industry.
In the realm of the cement industry, safety and efficiency stand as paramount concerns. Addressing these critical needs with pioneering technology, Gaztron India has emerged as the nation’s premier manufacturer of nitrogen inertisation systems.
Gaztron’s relentless commitment to innovation and excellence has positioned it as the unrivalled leader in this specialised sector. The company’s nitrogen inertisation systems have ushered in a new era of safety and operational excellence within the cement industry. By mitigating the risk of fire and explosion, these systems offer a robust shield, safeguarding both personnel and infrastructure.
Through cutting-edge engineering, Gaztron’s nitrogen inertisation systems effectively displace oxygen, preventing combustion and the subsequent hazards inherent in cement production. The systems are meticulously designed to seamlessly integrate into existing setups, minimising downtime and optimising productivity.
Gaztron’s triumph lies not only in its exceptional technology but also in its customer-centric
approach. Each solution is tailored to the unique needs of the client, ensuring a bespoke fit that maximises efficiency and safety while minimising environmental impact.
As the vanguard of nitrogen inertisation, Gaztron continues to push the boundaries of what is possible, redefining safety standards and elevating operational excellence in the cement industry. With a steadfast commitment to innovation, impeccable engineering and unwavering dedication to client satisfaction, Gaztron has rightfully earned its position as India’s number one manufacturer in this pivotal field. The future of cement production is safer, more efficient, and brighter, thanks to Gaztron India.
(Communication by the management of the company)
Delhi to hold FCC’s India Roads Conference on 12th Oct
To be hosted at Hotel Shangri-La Eros, New Delhi, the conference will witness more than 25 experts, policymakers, and industry leaders discussing innovative technologies, sustainable practices, and funding opportunities that promise to revolutionise the road construction landscape in India.
FIRST Construction Council (FCC) – an infrastructure think tank – will be hosting the 13th India Roads Conference (IRC) on October 12, 2023 at Hotel Shangri-La Eros, New Delhi, to explore new opportunities in the road construction business. To be hosted as a part of India Construction Festival 2023 (ICF 2023) along with Construction World Global Awards 2023 (CWGA 2023) and Equipment India Awards 2023 (EI Awards 2023), IRC 2023 will focus on transforming India’s road infrastructure by presenting an unique platform for networking, knowledge-sharing, and collaboration.
India’s road development sector is poised for unprecedented growth, housing one of the largest road networks in the world, spanning over 6.3 million km. The National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP) forecasts a substantial investment of Rs 111 trillion in infrastructure projects during fiscals 2020-25, with a a significant portion allocated to the road sector. Against this backdrop, the 13th India Roads Conference intends to discover the abundant market opportunities, the latest trends, and how the industry can capitalise on this thriving sector.
Renowned experts, policymakers, and industry leaders will converge to discuss innovative technologies, sustainable practices, and funding opportunities that promise to revolutionise the road construction landscape in India. Some of the confirmed speakers for IRC 2023 are Lt. General Harpal Singh, Former Engineer-In-Chief, Indian Army; Dr Manoranjan Parida, Director, CSIR-CRRI; Ajay Kumar Mishra, President, Dilip Buildcon; RK Pandey, Former Member Projects, NHAI & Former ADG, MoRTH; SK Nirmal, Secretary General, India Roads Congress; Premjit Singh, CEO – Transportation, Welspun Enterprises; TR Rao, Director (Infra), PNC Infratech; Hardik Agrawal, Director at Dineshchandra R Agrawal Infracon Pvt Ltd, Thumu Karthik, CEO, LivSYT (DevIndia Technologies); Pawan Kant, CEO, LTIDPL IndVIT Services Ltd (IM to IndInfraVIT Trust); and Palash Srivastava, CEO, IIFCL Projects among others.
The roadmap of the future
India currently has one of the largest road networks in the world, spanning over 6.3 million km. Of this, around 2 per cent are National Highways, 3 per cent are State Highways and the rest are part of the district and rural road network. Over 64.5 per cent of all goods and 90 per cent of passenger traffic move by road.
India has seen significant growth in its road network over the last five years, as the government has given priority to this sector. For the financial year 2022-23, the Central budget allocated more than Rs 2.70 trillion to the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH). The importance attached to the sector is also evinced by the fact that it accounts for approximately 18 per cent of the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP). Various state governments are also developing critical road corridors as a catalyst of economic development. Lately the focus has been on road safety, green initiatives, digital transformation and augmentation of funding sources.
Explaining the significance of IRC 2023, Pratap Padode, President, FIRST Construction Council, said, “India, not China, has the second-largest road network in the world after the US, spanning about 63.32 lakh km. NHAI awarded total projects of 6,003 km with a value of Rs 1.26 trillion during FY23. A provisional target of constructing about 13,800 km has been set for 2023-24. This presents excellent opportunity for all the stakeholders in the sector. India Roads Conference 2023 will explore ways on how to build a robust, safe road network by using latest technologies while meeting environment norms.”
In line with the market trends, experts during the India Roads Conference 2023 will deliberate on following relevant topics:
- Shaping regulations for safe and sustainable roads
- Revolutionising road construction with technology
- Accelerating road infrastructure with better financing opportunities
- Safer roads: Innovative designs for enhanced safety
Attendees can gain valuable insights from dynamic panel discussions, insightful keynotes, and cutting-edge innovation showcases. Thus, by participating in India Roads Conference 2023, delegates can stay ahead of industry trends, forge valuable partnerships, and contribute to building safer, greener, and more efficient road networks.
IRC 2023 is supported by Tiki Tar and Shell India (Silver Partner), Tata Hitachi (Equipment Partner), PNC Infratech Ltd (Associate Partner), and LivSYT (Technology Partner).
About India Construction Festival 2023
Organised by the FIRST Construction Council in collaboration with Construction World and Equipment India magazines, the 9th India Construction Festival (ICF) stands as a cornerstone in the construction and infrastructure industry. India Construction Festival serves as the single largest platform for celebrating India’s remarkable infrastructure journey, bringing together all stakeholders in the industry under one roof. This comprehensive approach fosters collaboration, facilitates knowledge sharing, and creates networking opportunities that are pivotal for the growth and development of India’s infrastructure sector. ICF 2023 will comprise three major events: 13th India Roads Conference, 11th Equipment India Awards and 21st Construction World Global Awards.
About FIRST Construction Council:
FIRST Construction Council (FCC), an infrastructure think tank established in 2003, focuses on providing the latest updates on the construction industry in India, and is dedicated to promoting its causes and needs. FCC provides a platform to promote the adoption of best practices and be the torchbearer for all policy initiatives that are needed to enhance the importance and welfare of the construction industry and the industry’s unified voice. FCC also hosts conferences/events like India Construction Festival, Metro Rail Conference, Infrastructure Today Conclave 2023, etc.