Cement plants using alternative fuels

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ISLAMABAD: Amid ongoing energy crisis the cement industry has started using alternative fuels to run their plants and share of such fuels in the sector’s energy-mix has crossed the 20 per cent mark.


At the Health and Safety Best Practices Training for the cement industry on Monday, an event organised by Lafarge Pakistan Cement Limited in collaboration with All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), attendees were informed that the use of alternative fuels was expected to increase further in near future.


“Non-traditional fuels include waste of poultry farms and certain other items that are difficult to dispose of by the poultry industry,” said Amr Reda, Country CEO of Lafarge Pakistan. He added that special emphasis was on protecting the local environment.


Mr Reda said that the cement industry has upgraded itself to reduce emissions as per the laws in Pakistan. “But it needs to be improved constantly like the health and safety standards within the plant,” he added.


Talking to the media, he said that his company was planning to enhance the utilisation of alternative fuel to 40pc in one year.


“Despite a drop in coal prices internationally, the benefits have been nullified in Pakistan,” he commented.


“The recent excel load conditions on trucks has increased the transportation cost for upcountry cement factories. The cost of coal transportation has increased from $35 per tonne to $50 per tonne from Karachi to Potohar region after this decision. As a result the price impact is at least Rs50 per bag,” he informed.


Concerned officials in various cement units were briefed by the Lafarge Health & Safety experts and professionals to provide critical health and safety information and knowledge of how to effectively and easily integrate safety practices into daily work activities.


Since, the defined health and safety standards applicable in the country were not up to the mark, APCMA requested Lafarge to train its members to the international best practices.


The Lafarge official said that health and safety standards were not work related issues, adding: “These are attitudes and everybody has to commit to them as it would not only prevent accidents but help enhance productivity.”


Aizaz Sheikh, CEO of Kohat Cement and Chairman APCMA said: “Safety standards shared with us by Lafarge are not only useful but also if they are followed properly can save all kind of incidents from happening.”


Meanwhile, some of the participants acknowledged that the cement industry still has around 10 million tonnes idle capacity and was looking for new export markets.


“Apart from other local benefits – the cement industry needs to improve the standards and meet other compliances as many international buyers have import restrictions on non- compliant producers,” said a senior official of a cement unit.

Courtesy:  Dawn

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