Cement industries giving a clarion call to bridge the 30% coal deficit from the domestic coal linkages should explore the option of buying municipal plastic waste to bridge the gap, chairman of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) SP Gautam said.
Around 150 major and 300 minor cement manufacturers in the country consume close to 29 million tonne coal per year. Recently, the supply of coal from the linkages to cement industry has declined from 80% to 50%.
Sensing the rebound in cement shipments, the industry associations have been clamouring for restoring the availability of coal from domestic linkages to the original 80%. Meanwhile, CPCB is urging cement industries nation-wide to cut back coal usage in kilns and opt for blending of plastic refuse from municipal garbage for incineration to achieve the twin benefits of reducing carbon emissions and lower inorganic solid pollution load on the environment.
Around 1,000 tonne of plastic refuse segregated from municipal dump every day in the major Indian cities could considerably reduce the coal input in the industry knocking off the need for export coal like Australian coal dubbed to contain 20 to 25% ash content.
Speaking to FE , Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), chairman, S P Gautam said the board would come out with a comprehensive draft on the usage of waste plastic in the cement kilns.
With high calorific value, the use of 10,000 tonne of trash plastic could replace around 20,000 tonne of coal in the industry, he pointed out. Various state pollution control boards had already evolved draft guidelines to be followed by the cement manufacturing industries in their respective regions. We are working on a comprehensive draft at the national level on the usage guidelines of the refuse plastic in the cement kilns. The cement companies in Madhya Pradesh are procuring segregated trash plastic from the local municipalities to incinerate them along with coal in the kilns. Precisely, we are fortifying the regulatory provisons in the yet to be released national draft for the cement industry, he said without specifying the date of unveiling the final draft.
Under the mandate of EPA (Environment Protection Agency), ministry of environment and forest, we are considering to make use of scrap plastic as a mandatory clause for the cement industries, pointed out the CPCB chairman. Other than plastic, similar to European practice, the Indian cement industries could use refinery sludge, paint sludge and tyre chips as a substitute for coal in the kilns, Gautam said adding that modalities are to be studied by CPCB on various emission-specific factors on such items.