Green footprint in cement plant

Green footprint in cement plant

In Photo: This cement production kiln in Apo plant uses extensive amount of heat of 1,400 degrees Celsius, which the company achieves by combining coal and alternative fuels from industry waste, used tires and even rice husks. The plant’s alternative-fuel substitution has reached as much as 22 percent in a span of only five years—a feat that helps it lessen its carbon footprint.
(Click image to enlarge)

CEMEX does its share in protecting Mother Earth by seeking ways to enable customers build more sustainable structures while mitigating environmental impacts.

The Mexican cement giant constantly has improved its performance as an efficient, agile, and innovative company by identifying, sharing, and implementing best practices across its global network of plants and facilities.

Locally, through the CEMEX Philippines Group of Companies (CEMEX Philippines)— the spin-off of its buying into Rizal Cement Co. Inc. in 1997 and Apo Cement Corp. in 1999— it has gone miles to lessen its carbon footprint and sustained resources well.

Beyond business, CEMEX Philippines has become a responsible corporate citizen that cares for its people and the communities around it, as well as the environment. This is apparent in the “green” operations already established in both plants in Cebu and Antipolo.

As proof that cement making can be eco-friendly for both present and future generations’ use, its plant in the Visayas currently undergoes expansion aimed at creating and maintaining a sustainable production cycle.

With an appropriation of P2.5 billion, the new investment— which involves a network of landing and discharge facilities, plus a vertical mill— is intended to increase production of the Apo Cement Plant to meet the growing national demand.

The expansion is our answer to the increasing demand for cement brought about by the continued rise of the Philippine market,” Plant Director Normandy Chan told reporters on Wednesday during their tour of the facility.

The expansion program is expected to boost the plant’s current production capacity of 2.5 million metric tons (MMT) annually by 1.5 MMT per year, thus, bringing its total capability to 4 MMT per year.

This is possible with the ongoing construction of a vertical mill, which, once completed in the second quarter of 2014, can produce 200 tons of cement per hour, in addition to two existing ball mills, with a combined capacity of 170 tons per hour.

The soon-to-rise, state-of-the-art facility boasts of “high-production capacity with low specific power consumption,” making it environment-friendly.

So we’re not only making investments in the amount of capacity that we’re thinking, but also the kind of capacity,” CEMEX Philippines Vice President for Strategic Planning Paul Vincent Arcenas said in an interview.

Explaining the use of energy as a requirement in the cement-making process, he said energy is the biggest cost element that comes in two ways— electricity and fuel for the kiln.

While there are renewable sources of power, he said the bulk of energy used in the industry today remains to be finite, hence they should be utilized wisely and responsibly.

Fortunately, the kind of equipment that we’re putting in is far more efficient in terms of the use of electricity. That will lower our electrical bill and effectively our carbon footprint. So we are very eager to make that kind of an investment in Apo [Cement Plant],” Arcenas said.

In cement, the carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses generated throughout its life cycle: from the extraction of the raw materials to manufacturing, distribution, use by customers and disposal.

So even before infusing such big amount of fresh investment, CEMEX already has limited the amount of waste from its production. Be it an excess heat or solid residue, the plant, just like in Solid Cement Plant in Antipolo, tries to exhaust everything it can before they are discarded.

Using alternatives for fossil fuel has also helped the company manage well its resources in the past five years.

While CEMEX still uses coal as its primary fuel for its kiln to produce cement, it also uses alternatives, such as plastic waste from industries, used tires and rice husks and the so-called refuse-derived fuel coming from dumps. The alternative-fuel substitution in Apo Cement Plant has reached as much as 22 percent.

We’re really looking at what’s rich on an island like in the case of Cebu, and see how we can include in our process to reduce our [carbon footprint],” said CEMEX Philippines National Sales Director Roberto Javier.

With its strong adherence to international operating standards as shown in best practices it incorporates to its operation, Apo Cement recently was accorded the Integrated (International) Management System, which embodies the integrated systems of ISO 9001:2008 for Quality Management, ISO 14001:2004 for Environmental Management and OHSAS 18001:2007 for Occupational Health and Safety Management.

Its products Apo Portland Premium and Apo Pozzolan, likewise, share the plum, declaring them eco-friendly in April 2008. All these, including the IMS certification that was also received by Solid Cement Corp., as well as the same citation for its products, made CEMEX Philippines the first and only Filipino cement firm to be awarded the Green Choice Seal, which is a voluntary eco-labeling initiative sponsored by the national government, which ensures products are environmentally preferable.

Apo Cement business commitment goes beyond providing our consumers with quality products and reliable services, but extends to upholding our active participation in environmental protection and conservation, as well as the safety and security of our workers, visitors and our stakeholders,” said Chan.

(This article was written by Roderick Abad and was published in Business Mirror, 24 June 2013.)

Print Friendly

Comments are closed.

News Archive