Bengaluru: At a recent meeting with cement industries and civic officials, Karnataka State Pollution Control Board (KSPCB) negotiated the removal of accrued Refuse Derived Fuel (RDF) within two months.
Within two months, a mammoth 13 lakh kg of waste that has been processed as fuel, will be lifted from the overburdened six recycling plants in Bengaluru city.
In the plants, inorganic waste - primarily plastic - is shredded and crushed and moisture entirely removed to form RDF, which can be used as fuel in the kiln of cement factories. Since the project started, over 18 lakh kg of RDF has been manufactured, of which just 5 lakh kg have been taken by cement plants.
Though the fuel is being given for free to the cement plants, the high transportation costs had become a major hindrance. Many of the factories are in north Karnataka, at a distance of over 500 km. The cost of transportation comes up to Rs 2,500 per tonne. The estimate for removal of the accumulated RDF comes up to more than Rs. 3.25 crore. ´As a temporary measure, we have asked the cement factories to use their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to lift the waste. But, in the long term, we will work with the BBMP to bring out a policy to sort out this issue,´ said Lakshman, Chairperson, KSPCB.
The accumulation of RDF in processing plants has already resulted in two major fires - at the Kannahalli plant in October and at the Chikkanagamangala plant in November.
Policy for RDF
´Once this accumulated RDF is cleared, we will look at evolving a viable model for dealing with the produced fuel,´ said Sarfaraz Khan, Joint Commissioner (Solid Waste Management), BBMP. The model could involve BBMP seeking state government support to subsidise the transportation cost by more than 50 per cent.
- The Hindu
Fuel cost up, but cement prices down in South, North
Cement companies are facing the heat of rising prices of imported coal and pet coke, coupled with sluggish demand due to demonetisation.
While input costs have gone up, the price of cement has come down. ICRA Ratings says while cement prices have gone down in the southern and western markets particularly, volume growth has been adversely impacted in all regions.
In south India, the price of a cement bag is down by Rs 30 during October-November and is around Rs 300 now.
In the western markets, after the price increased by Rs 15 a bag in October and reached Rs 265 a bag, it slipped to Rs 240 in the next month. However, the prices have held in the northern and eastern markets.
This prices of the two main fuels are unlikely to come down in six months.
Brokerages are reckoning on a 15-20 per cent demand drop this month. According to data from S&P Global Platts, pet coke prices rose 37 per cent between July and December at $95.75 a tonne while imported coal prices rose from $52 per MT in July to $71.5 as on December 19.
´Because of increasing Indian demand and maintenance works at refineries in the US, supply has tightened, and this led to a steep increase in prices during the latter part of the year,´ said Deepak Kannan, Managing Editor, Asia Thermal Coal, S&P Global Platts.
Cement plants use a combination of coal and pet coke or pet coke alone. Because of low pet coke prices last year and early this year, many cement companies had started using it as a substitute for coal. Fuel accounts for at least 40 per cent of a company´s input costs and cement firms normally store enough to meet the requirements of 45 days.
´There may be an impact on the margins of the cement companies,´ said HM Bangur, Managing Director, Shree Cement. An analyst working for Motilal Oswal said: ´It is the cost advantage which differentiates a cement maker from others and ensures good operating margins. With both pet coke and coal prices rising, this advantage is disappearing.´
Kannan expects pet coke prices to soften in the coming year, but if that does not happen, cement companies may switch to coal. But there is no clarity on the movements of coal prices either.
´Given the fact that cement demand is driven significantly by real estate, it is likely to get impacted in the near term. Overall, the demand for cement is expected to be adversely impacted by this development in the next two to three quarters,´ said Sabyasachi Majumdar, Senior Vice-President, ICRA Ratings, in a statement.
- Business Standard
Pakistan: Industry wants anti-dumping duty on Iranian cement
South Africa has introduced an anti-dumping duty to protect its local industry while the tariff in India is around 19 per cent to discourage cement imports. All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers´ Association (APCMA) Chairman Sayeed Tariq Saigol has urged the government to support the cement industry by placing an anti-dumping duty on Iranian cement and decreasing taxes to make the domestic product more affordable to consumers. Such changes would increase cement demand and result in capacity enhancement, creating more job opportunities.
He pointed out that the Pakistani cement industry was among the highest contributors to the national exchequer over the last four years and has paid PKR 189 billion ($1.8 billion) in taxes. The contribution has more than doubled from PKR 39 billion in 2012-13 to PKR 83 billion in 2015-16.
The industry posted growth in these years, with dispatches rising to 38.87 MT from 33.43 MT in 2012-13. The growth in government collection is mostly due to the increase in duties and taxes by more than 60 per cent to PKR 2,492/tonne. He said that there is a strong need to reduce duties and taxes to bring down prices, which would also help the industry to grow ´as it is playing a vital role in the development of the country´.
While there has been a strong growth in cement dispatches, a continuous decline in exports has been reported over the last few years. The country exported 8.57 MT of cement in 2012-13 which has dropped by about 46 per cent to 5.87 MT in 2015-16. However, the rise in local consumption helped the industry to stay afloat.
Saigol attributes the decline in exports to increased input costs such as fuel prices as well as the introduction of barriers by export destinations. South Africa introduced an anti-dumping duty to protect its local industry while the tariff in India is around 19 per cent to discourage imports. Such obstacles make it difficult for Pakistan to compete with other exporting countries which have lower input costs.