June, 2021: Reddipalayam Cement Works, UltraTech Cement’s integrated unit located in Tamil Nadu, has achieved the distinction of one-fourth of its fuel (heat) requirement being met through utilisation of waste materials sourced from local municipal corporations and industries. With the increased usage of alternative fuels, Reddipalayam Cement Works is now 16.25 times plastic positive. The unit has also successfully reduced CO2 emission by 2,250 tonne CO2 per annum.
Reddipalayam Cement Works, located in Tamil Nadu, sources municipal waste from 11 local municipal corporations including Ariyalur, Erode, Kumbakonam, Thanjavur, Perambalur and Karur. The unit also sources plastic waste from cities such as Chennai and Kozikhode. This waste is co-processed in Reddipalayam Cement Works’ cement kilns as alternative fuels. Co-processing is a term used for utilizing non-recyclable waste materials such as industrial waste, non-biodegradable plastic and other waste in cement kiln as alternative fuel and as raw material.
Over utilisation of landfills in the surrounding districts had earlier lead to open-air burning of municipal solid waste. Reddipalayam Cement Works’ alternative fuels initiative has cut down the burden on these landfills and helped reduce air and soil pollution in those districts. Reddipalayam Cement Works also co-processes plastic waste sourced from the paper industries located in multiple cities in Tamil Nadu including Karur, Tiruchirappalli and Coimbatore. Refuse derived fuel (RDF) from professional organisations and industrial wastes from Tamil Nadu based industries also contribute as alternative fuel for the unit.
The unit was one of the early adopters of the Alternative Fuels and Raw Materials (AFR) technology in the Indian Cement Industry, starting as early as 2003. In FY19, 20 per cent of the unit’s fuel requirement was met through alternative fuels. As a result of the investments made to improve usage of alternative fuels, the Reddipalayam Cement Works has achieved a consistent thermal substitution rate (TSR) of more than 25 percent for the current calendar on a year to date (YTD) basis. In the AFR upgradation process, the unit’s team faced several operational challenges, which were overcome utilizing in-house expertise and through operational modifications.
The circularity of materials is a priority for UltraTech. The company is working to reduce the consumption of primary materials in its manufacturing process through various innovations and recycling waste and by-products from other industries for use as alternative resources. This helps the Company to lower its dependence on fossil fuels and natural raw materials in cement manufacturing as part of its long-term objective to decarbonize its operations. In FY2020, UltraTech replaced 17.2 per cent of its raw material requirement for cement manufacturing and 3.7 per cent of its thermal energy needs with alternative resources.