India’s cement manufacturing industry is the second-largest worldwide and accounts for almost 7 percent of the total global installed capacity. The infrastructure and the construction sector have been largely responsible for the growth of the industry. However, like all industrial processes, cement production generates a substantial quantity of waste materials, which need to be disposed of correctly. Ambuja Cements Limited and ACC Limited, two of India’s largest cement manufacturers, have come up with a way to deal with waste management in their factories.
Geocycle India, the Indian arm of the global Geocycle network, functions as the in-house waste management arm of both Ambuja and ACC. Geocycle India is heavily involved in waste management operations in six pre-processing and 14 co-processing facilities owned by the two companies.
In 2021, Geocycle India processed about 2 million tons of waste and achieved a thermal substitution rate (TSR) of 6 percent. Geocycle is involved not only in the processing of cement waste but also in offering sustainable solutions for waste from all sorts of industries. Close to 1 million tons of waste are being handled annually and processed before being diverted to landfills. Cement plants belonging to Ambuja Cements and ACC come with co-processing facilities for large-scale waste management. This allows Geocycle India to manage the various types of waste streams that are byproducts of the cement manufacturing process.
For example, the Ambuja Cements plant in Kodinar, Gujarat, has been co-processing both solid and liquid waste for nearly 10 years now. This particular plant has one of the highest clinker production – 12,500 tons per day. In spite of that, the plant achieved a TSR of 7 percent. The waste processing management has been so successful that the state of Gujarat has gone ahead and adopted the model.
In a parallel development, ACC’s plant at Wadi, Karnataka, which flaunts one of the largest kilns in the world, produces 14,000 tons of clinker per day. 600 tons of waste are co-processed at the plant daily which also includes other refuse like plastics and industrial wastes. The TSR for the plant stands at an impressive 18 percent.
Commenting on the development, Neeraj Akhoury, CEO India Holcim, and MD & CEO Ambuja Cements Ltd. said, “Our waste management arm Geocycle India has been our pillar in driving initiatives and has helped us to co-process and reuse industrial wastes. We safely recover energy and recycle material value inherent in waste, leaving zero residues. Thus, our endeavor helps conserve natural resources and reduces land and marine pollution. Both Ambuja Cements and ACC are working and committed to becoming a Net Zero”.
Also Read | Better late than never: Citibank launches Dharavi vaccination drive