GCCA India E-Conference Q&A

The following questions were asked during the GCCA India E-Conference in December 2020.

Do you foresee a significant impact of AFR in carbon reduction in the future?
(Priyanka Dhingra – SBI Mutual Fund Management)

Use of a AFR does help in the reduction of CO2, and therefore across the globe we find cement companies increasing the use of AFR. In certain countries, cement plants have achieved a TSR of greater than 50% for which they also receive carbon credits.
Jamshed Cooper (MD, Heidelberg Cement India Limited)

What role does ETC look to play in India to push the public policy that you mentioned. We have an economy that is limping back to normal and labor costs are important in our country as well.
(Anonymous Attendee)

The work of ETC in India is led by my co-chair Ajay Mathur of TERI and his excellent team there. They are working on how to decarbonise Indian power production (while growing electricity supply 5 times over the next 30 years) – on heavy industry decarbonisation, and on the prospects for hydrogen. Within several of these studies (eg see the one on hydrogen to be published on December 16th) we are thinking about how to ensure that as much as possible value added and therefore employment is created in India.
Lord Adair Turner (Co-Chair, Energy Transition Commission)

Now the scenario is changing from thermal power to renewable, what is the future of PPC (portland pozzolana cement) in India?
(GNB RAO – HeidelbergCement India Limited)

If CO2 emission reduction by 2030 is the focus of attention, then the best known method is to reduce the clinker content in cement and therefore PPC becomes the natural option. Going forward, the 2030 CO2 goals deadline draws closer, we expect people to be forced to manufacture blended cements since Carbon capture technologies are very much in their nascent stage and too costly for our industry to adopt.
Jamshed Cooper (MD, Heidelberg Cement India Limited)

The cement sector had been an early adopter of the circularity concept with AFR and ARM. Can you explain key projects taken up in the past 2-3 years that has resulted in increasing the AFR & ARM rates?
(Arvind Bodhankar – UltraTech Cement Limited)

Over the last few years the industry has attempted the use of different types of AFRs based on the local availability. As such the TSR in our country is very low and therefore we have to first achieve TSR higher than 30% before we consider deployment of advanced technologies to increase AFR use.
Jamshed Cooper (MD, Heidelberg Cement India Limited)

Has Lafarge Holcim added or planning to add Carbon Capture units at any of its global cement plants?
(Gunjan Sukul – Larsen & Toubro Limited)

According to our Net Zero Pledge, CCUS will play a role in further decreasing our footprint after 2030 in line with the roadmap we are currently working on with SBTi. In the meantime, we have 20+ projects ongoing whereof 5 are already public, involving CCUS like CO2MENT at the Portland and Richmond plants, Westküste 100 in Germany, C2PAT in Austria as well as a project with Carbon Clean in Spain.
Magali Anderson (CSO, LafargeHolcim)

Which capture technology is used for carbon capture in the pilot plants? Is it amine based chemical absorption or some other? Is the captured CO2 being used in any value added products or only stored/EOR ?
(Gunjan Sukul – Larsen & Toubro Limited)

We are looking at liquid amine scrubbers, solid CO2 adsorption technologies, oxy-fuel technology, remineralization of exhaust gases by aggregates/CDW/etc, production of biomass etc. As fas as the CO2 further use is concerned, we are looking into storage, EOR, production of fuels, plastics and chemicals, CO2 merchant market, biomass and food, etc. We do not focus on one technology or one use case only knowing we need a portfolio of solutions and applications.
Magali Anderson (CSO, LafargeHolcim)

How do you distinguish between carbon neutrality and Net Zero?
(Sunil Kumar, HeidelbergCement India Limited)

When non-CO2 emissions are not relevant for a company, carbon neutrality, net-zero emissions and climate neutrality can be considered equivalent;
The direct GHG emissions of cement plants almost entirely consist of CO2. The contribution of other non-CO2 GHG emissions has been shown to be negligible.
Magali Anderson (CSO, LafargeHolcim)

What are the major challenges to tackling Net Zero and how do you overcome them?
(Sunil Kumar, HeidelbergCement India Limited)

We are currently developing the roadmap for net zero but what we can say already now is as CCUS is a part of it, challenges related to this are also our challenges to net zero. So besides the current Capex and Opex (which we work on with our pilot projects to significantly reduce), other challenges are in the field of regulation frameworks, demand for green cement, infrastructure for CO2 transport and storage and related governmental support, availability of green energy for CO2 etc. Some information are shared in the slides on this.
Magali Anderson (CSO, LafargeHolcim)

What is the approx cost per ton of CO2 storage?
(Madhava Reddy – HeidelbergCement India Limited)

This is what we are currently working on in some pilots. A public, comprehensive overview from various sources can be found in the ZEP study. (https://zeroemissionsplatform.eu/)
Magali Anderson (CSO, LafargeHolcim)

What % of CO2 can be practically captured in a cement plant on continued basis by any of available Carbon Capture technology?
(Anand Bohra – NCCBM)

The final aim will be to capture 100% of the remaining CO2, i.e. while we work first on traditional CO2 reduction levers (AFR, clinker factor, energy efficiency, novel cements. etc), we will capture the remaining ones with CCUS technology. Some of our CCUS projects are starting with a reduced scale pilot plant with the aim to scale up in a later phase.
Magali Anderson (CSO, LafargeHolcim)

How do you reconcile Net Zero with the many other sustainability challenges? For example, how do we make circular thinking central to the Net Zero agenda?
(Sunil Kumar, HeidelbergCement, India Limited)

Circular and net zero are well inline. Circular economy is an important element for the targets 2030 as it focuses on the use of AFR, Alternative Raw Materials, mineral components in cement etc, all in view of reducing the CO2 footprint. Circular economy is one of the key pillars of net zero and one of the primary CO2 reduction measures. Afterwards we will tackle the remaining CO2 emissions with secondary measures like CCUS. This is why part of our net-zero journey, we committed to double the amount of recycled waste to reach 100MT by 2030.
Magali Anderson (CSO, LafargeHolcim)

What do you see the prominent materials for utilisation would be from the captured carbon globally?
(Sandeep Shrivastava – Ultra Tech Cement Limited)

There will most probably not one prominent material and it is changing from site to site depending on the partners, infrastructure, green energy, etc available. It can range from storage to merchant CO2 market, plastics and chemicals, biomass and fuels, remineralisation of aggregates and demolition waste, etc.
Magali Anderson (CSO, LafargeHolcim)

Can the construction sector capture carbon in the concrete that is used to make the buildings – is there any tech solution here?
(Sunita Purushottam – Mahindra Lifespaces Limited)

Yes, e.g. Solidia or Carbon Cure.
Claude Lorea (Executive Cement Director, GCCA)

Why (most of the companies) don’t we think to convert the NOx emissions to CO2 equivalent?
(V.Ramachandra Raju, Zuari cement, India)

It is N2O which has a significant GHG potential. N2O emissions from cement kilns are negligible.

NOx (NO and NO2) are responsible for other environmental impacts such acidification, etc.
Claude Lorea (Executive Cement Director, GCCA)

What is Decarbonisation trajectory set out by the IEA? (Sunil Kumar, HeidelbergCement, India Limited)

See Sept 2020 ETP report by IEA
Claude Lorea (Executive Cement Director, GCCA)

What intake of CO2 will affect the quality of product?
(Ajay Kumar – Nuvoco Vistas Corporation Limited)

No, designers ensure it is slow in reinforced concrete as, before carbonation, the concrete protects the reinforcement from corroding.
Claude Lorea (Executive Cement Director, GCCA)

In its life cycle, how much percent of carbon is absorbed?
(Satish Kumar Agarwal, NCCBM)

The recarbonation is estimated at 20-23% of process emissions
Claude Lorea (Executive Cement Director, GCCA)

Is there any time period (yrs) for the concrete in the buildings to absorb carbon for re-carbonation?
(Sandeep Shrivastava – Ultra Tech Cement Limited)

Carbonation starts on the surface exposed to air and penetrates at a rate proportional to the square root of time. This means that the first years of carbonation and CO2 uptake of a concrete product or element are significant (during the first 5 years, 22 % of the 100-years uptake takes place and 50 % of the 20-years uptake.
Claude Lorea (Executive Cement Director, GCCA)

What is the percentage contribution of decarbonated materials in mitigating carbon emissions?
(Satish Kumar Agarwal, NCCBM)

We are currently collecting baseline data and forecast data for 2030 and 2050. My understanding is that the baseline value for decarbonated materials (i.e. now) is negligible. Future, for example, the use of fines from recycled aggregates offers real possibility. A coarse fraction from recycled concrete can be used into new concrete, but the mortar fines are more valuable (in terms of carbon/material efficiency if used in a kiln)
Andrew Minson (Sustainable Construction and Concrete Director, GCCA)

I have seen EPR though more visibly in e-waste collection.
(Rahul Prasad – JSW Cement Limited)

The various products that attract EPR framework in different countries are E-Waste, Plastic waste, End of live vehicles, tyres etc. In India we have EPR responsibility for E-waste and Plastic waste only. The same for Tyres and ELV vehicles is likely to get announced later in some years. EPR for E-waste has been properly notified and is operating from the e-waste rules notified in 2011. For plastic waste, the same is likely to be announced very soon.
(Ulhas Parlikar – Global Consultant – Circular Economy)

What % CO2 produced in concrete manufacturing can be used in CarbonCure process?
(KirtiShalaka Raorane – Aker Solutions)

The CO2 footprint of concrete manufacturing is relatively low. The manufacturing process of cement is the single largest contributor to the embodied carbon of concrete. On average, CarbonCure technology can reduce cement content by 5%.
Lim Koon Min (Dy. Director, Sustainability Pan-United Concrete P/L, Singapore)

Can you share the economics behind green concrete?

CarbonCure’s mission of enabling 500MT of annual CO2 savings is directly related to the technology becoming a standard in production. To achieve this goal, the market price of concrete must be such that the buyers of concrete perceive value in low carbon concrete. Most government policies now favour green concrete procurement.
Lim Koon Min (Dy. Director, Sustainability Pan-United Concrete P/L, Singapore)