The conference put focus on various innovative technologies and best practices for energy efficiency, productivity improvement and sustainable development.
CII - Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre (CII - Godrej GBC)-with support from industry stakeholders-has been a key promoter of "World Class Energy Efficiency in Cement Sector". As part of the initiative, CII-Godrej GBC & Cement Manufacturers Association (CMA) have been jointly organising the "Green Cementech" annual conference for the benefit of all stakeholders in the cement sector.
The event this year began online for the first time in the 16-year history of the pioneering cement sector conference. The three-day conference was held on a virtual platform in keeping with safeguards made imperative by the coronavirus pandemic. The conference put focus on various innovative technologies and best practices for energy efficiency, productivity improvement and sustainable development.
Each year since 2004, Green Cementech brings together the best minds in the industry to share insights and discuss the way forward for sustainable development. The Indian cement industry is only next to China's in its production capacity, with 545 Million Tonnes of cement produced annually, and is among the world's most energy efficient industries going by specific energy consumption.
The inaugural session of the 16th Green Cementech was also marked by the online announcement of GreenCo rating certification awards.
GreenCo rating system is a holistic green improvement tool, acting as a catalyst in making Industry world class in Green. GreenCo has given the thrust to the industry to perform much beyond compliance in terms of environmental performance. It has underlined clear results for the industry in terms of energy and resource savings, cross-sector learning, greener supply chains, life cycle approach and so on.
This year, the Platinum award was given to Dalmia Cement (Bharat), Kapilas Cement Works, Cuttack. Kapilas Cement Works is the first cement grinding unit in the country to get the platinum rating. The Gold awards went to ACC Wadi Cement Works and JK Cement Works, Muddapur.
At the panel discussion, the CEOs of leading cement companies discussed the strategies that the cement industry needs to adopt to overcome the current scenario (Covid-19) and the future challenges. The session was moderated by Sumit Banerjee, Chairman, Editorial Advisory Board, Indian Cement Review.
The panellists included Mahendra Singhi, Managing Director & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat); Philip Mathew, Head - Cement Manufacturing Excellence-Asia, LafargeHolcim;V Ganesan, COO, Chettinad Cement Corporation; Rajnish Kapur, Business Head, JK Cement;and Raju Goyal, Chief Technical Officer, UltraTech Cement and Co-chairman, Green Cementech 2020.
The CEOs concurred that there is a need to push for digitalisation, bring innovation in business and technologies, have compassionate leadership, use Internet of Things (IoT) for monitoring the operations, increase R&D activities and improve equipment reliability to overcome this difficult time.
Magali Anderson, Chief Sustainability Officer LafargeHolcim, made a presentation on the sustainability initiatives of LafargeHolcim. LafargeHolcim commits to reduce scope 1 GHG emissions per tonne of cementitious materials to 520 kg by 2030. She discussed the roadmap and target for CO2 reduction and the challenges faced by the cement industry. She underlined high cost of carbon capture technologies as a concern for adoption by cement industry. She also mentioned about "Plants of Tomorrow - creating 270 digital, circular and interconnected sites, future -proofing the sites and making these carbon-efficient."
Benjamin Sporton, CEO, GCCA, in his presentation on future aspects of sustainable development, expressed hope for greater focus on sustainable construction, infrastructure, broader sustainability issues, better urban design and public space. He also emphasised on the work by GCCA India on four groups - WG-A: Energy, climate, circular economy, WG-B: Water, Biodiversity and SDGs, WG-C: health and safety, WG-D: communication and policy advocacy.
The three-day online conference also focussed on sharing of best practices and technologies by Indian cement plants. The knowledge of the participants was greatly improved thanks to the many key takeaways in the presentations made by UltraTech Cement, Dalmia Cement (Bharat), JK Cement, Kalaburgi Cement, The Ramco Cement, ACC, on the measures and best practices adopted for improving energy efficiency, productivity, increasing alternate fuel utilisation, achieving excellence at design stage, sustainability in mining and biodiversity. The leading technology suppliers like Siemens, KHD, IKN, Thyssenkrupp made presentation on the latest technologies and upgrades.
The technical experts from ECRA, IEA and VDZ presented on the status of key technologies for carbon emission reduction and the way forward. Dr. Kristina Fleiger, Senior Researcher, European Cement Research Academy GmbH (ECRA) presented on developments in oxyfuel technologies. She highlighted that oxyfuel technologies for CO2 capture in cement industry is technically feasible at capture rates of >90 per cent and will be applicable in the coming years. Dr Volker Hoenig, Managing Director, VDZ spoke about the measures and technologies for increasing the alternate fuel utilisation in the cement industry.
Delivering the special address for the inaugural session, Mahendra Singhi, President, Cement Manufacturers' Association, and Managing Director & CEO, Dalmia Cement (Bharat) Limited, congratulated the cement sector for being "Aatmanirbhar" (self-reliant), and expressed his hopes about support from the government in making the sector even stronger in this regard. He highlighted the considerable growth prospects of the country's cement sector in view of the country's need for infrastructure and housing programmes. He believes that the cement sector can grow its export with support from the government.
--- Philip Mathew, Chairman, Green Cementech 2020, and Head -Cement Manufacturing Excellence (Asia), LafargeHolcim, delivered the theme address for the inaugural session of the conference. "Urbanisation could double in the next 20 years, fetching even more demand for housing, infra, and cement consumption. The cement industry has to meet this challenge with sustainability in mind. To its advantage, the cement industry is perfectly transparent in sharing best practices and latest knowledge within the sector," he said.