Ready-mixed fortunes

 You launched Dalmia Ultra last year in the south. How has been the response? What are some of the unique characteristics of the brand?
We launched Dalmia Ultra in August last year in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh. The product offers quality, unique packaging and first in industry hologram on the bags. Its unique formulation of high alite low celite (HALC) delivered attributes best suited for concreting.

What are some of the new technologies used in cement making in India?
Cement industry has come a long way in terms of becoming energy efficient and using alternative means to reduce its cost apart from providing platform to burn the hazardous wastes. Several cement companies are taking initiatives in the PAT (perform, achieve and trade) Scheme of Bureau of Energy Efficiency and AFR (alternate fuel and raw material and waste heat recovery) through co-generation. This should reduce energy consumption by 4.8% in first cycle of PAT Scheme, ending 2015.
The new technologies used in cement manufacturing are 10,000 TPD kilns, VRM’s in cement grinding, robotic laboratories for testing, cross belt analysers (CBA) and increased usages of AFR.
We utilise the latest technology in our equipment to ensure low energy, less impact on the environment, and this has been a practice for last 75 years.
For cement kilns and raw mill, we use high efficiency reverse air baghouse and ESP and high efficiency bag filters in the cement and coal mills. Our coolers are fitted with hot ESPs and the power plant with high ESPs. For material transfer points we have provided auxiliary bag filters to control fugitive emission.
In terms of power, we draw power from our captive power plant with grid backup and export excess power to grid.

You recently partnered with NREDCAP for the promotion of biogas plant. What is the progress?
Dalmia Bharat Group Foundation (DBGF) has partnered with New and Renewable Energy Development Corporation of Andhra Pradesh Limited (NREDCAP), a state government company, for the promotion of biogas plants in Kadapa district. DBGF is now an authorised agency for undertaking turnkey projects of family size biogas plants at a subsidised rate of 8,000 per 2 CC. The joint venture with NREDCAP also authorises DBGF to engage new agencies to undertake turnkey projects on behalf of NREDCAP, Kadapa district. The initiative has directly benefited 30 families and 150 beneficiaries of underprivileged families. Since then, about 30 biogas plants have been constructed. It has also helped in encouraging the use of available natural resources and reducing dependency on fossil fuels.

What are some of the sustainable initiatives you have taken since last year?
Dalmia Cement is a member of CSI (cement sustainability initiative, under the aegis of the WBCSD, Geneva). Consequently it is bound by the CSI’s charter on sustainability. We adhere to the exacting and very comprehensive standards of the CSI. In specific energy consumption, we are carrying out energy audit to identify energy saving potential. Internally, an exclusive energy conservation team focuses on the critical areas of raw and coal mill, captive power plant, compressors, pumps, packaging plants and ball mill. Monitoring energy consumption daily on several metrics and taking corrective measures wherever necessary.
*We have been using the waste heat generated from our plant to remove moisture from our product during the raw mill operation and the cement mill operation, hence conserving fuel (which would have been consumed for drying). This has a bearing on reducing our carbon footprint.
* We use municipal solid waste (MSW) as alternate fuel. We work closely with the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board and the Trichy municipality for incineration of MSW at our DPM plant. Necessary infrastructure is developed for drying, transporting storage and efficient feeding system in our KDH kiln.
*Pet coke is also being used as an alternate fuel in our FLS kiln. In FY2012-13, we used 8,543mt of pet coke. Conceptually co-processing is very sound. However, it needs a certain ecosystem to be successfully adopted at significant levels. There are three major challenges — consistency, availability and approvals.

Cement companies are often looking at energy conservation and optimisation. What is your commitment?
Dalmia Bharat is amongst select global members of the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI), Geneva. We are a company with one of the lowest suspended particulate matter (SPM) resulting in a dust free, pollution free environment.
In December 2013, we were conferred with the prestigious CII-ITC Sustainability Award 2013 for contribution to sustainability and conservation of the environment. This is the second consecutive year that Dalmia Bharat received this award.
We have continuous air ambient monitoring station in all our plants and the periodical reports are submitted to the statutory bodies. Some of the major systems in place to control air pollution are bag house for raw mill, kiln, cement mills and stacks, localised cyclone dust collectors at all transfer points, and environment-friendly covered storage systems for bulk materials. Waste heat generated from our plant is being used to remove the moisture from our product during raw mill and cement mill operation instead of using hot air generator, thereby conserving fuel and resulting in minimising our carbon footprint.
We are also credited with pioneering achievements in registration of our cogeneration power projects under CDM (clean development mechanism). All our plants are registered under this mechanism and are helping in global efforts to mitigate impact of greenhouse gas emissions. We produce ethanol which is a green fuel from the sustainable molasses route. From the distillery waste, we produce bio-compost which is organic manure.
At the plant level, the constant focus is on energy conservation and energy efficient operations. A bio-methanation plant is being installed at the distillery for energy generation from distillery waste. Water re-use and recycling to minimise fresh water usage is a constant focus area. Three years ago, the Jawaharpur project was registered as a CDM project. Our sugar plant at Ramgarh project is already registered and we expect to get our third sugar plant in the state of Uttar Pradesh, Nigohi, also registered. These three projects combined will result in annual reduction of over 100,000mt of CO2 emissions.
Each year, our manufacturing plants are assigned with a theme by the organisation and an award has been instituted, called managing director’s awards, for best performance on the theme.
At Dalmiapuram, as part of the industrialisation initiative, we collected 18.9 metric tons of waste plastics from the residential areas and neighbouring villages and used in our kiln to save up to 56 million kilo calories of energy.
At Nigohi, efforts have been made towards to develop a zero-waste society. In Ariyalur, value from waste is created by segregating the waste into different forms and recycle into making compost and vermi culture. We ensure efficient utilisation of waste from other industries like fly ash, slag and gypsum. We also encourage consumption of alternate raw materials – lime sludge – to conserve lime stone resources by hazardous waste utilisation.

Could you tell us about your R&D activities?
We regularly invest in R&D. We must ensure improved quality of blended cement and that requires some R&D. Even while using slag, fly ash or any other unconventional raw material we need to ensure that quality of our cement doesn’t suffer. So we engage in much R&D work. Before we implement something we need to be absolutely sure of its feasibility from safety to quality. These are critical parameters to be taken into consideration.

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Sept 2020
01 Sep 2020