“No more words, but actions are needed”

Such was the key message given by World Cement Association President Zhi Ping Song at the WCA Global Climate Change Forum in Paris on 28.06.2018, where more than 50 cement industry representatives and delegates from diverse institutions gathered to discuss how the cement industry can do more to help protect the climate.

In demonstration of its keen interest in climate protection, China‘s cement industry was strongly represented by a number of high-ranking officials from the Anhui Conch Cement Company Ltd and the China National Building Materials Group Co., Ltd., (CNBM). That was good to note, of course, because having the world‘s biggest cement producer/consumer make an active commitment to environmental protection is very helpful.

Dr Tongbo Sui of Sinoma International Engineering Co., Ltd. reported on the Chinese cement industry‘s present range of activities. As of July 2017, the sector has 1715 kilns in service for a total clinker capacity of some 2.02 billion t. China‘s cement industry accounts for 5 % of the country‘s overall energy consumption and is responsible for roughly 15 % of China‘s CO2 emissions. With that in mind, the industry wishes to expand its involvement in climate protection. According to the 13th five-year plan, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, including CO2, are to be reduced by 40–45 % per unit of GDP (2005 baseline) by 2020 while the co-processing of municipal solid waste (MSW) is continuously expanded, NOx emissions reduced and emissions of chromium (Cr) and mercury (Hg) are brought under control. Then, by the year 2030, non-fossil fuels are scheduled to account for 20 % of primary fuel consumption. He presented some projects with the following priorities: higher thermal efficiency, less power consumption, co-processing of municipal solid wastes, hazardous wastes and sewage sludge with the help of cement kilns, plus low-carbon clinker cements.

With President Zhi Ping Song of CNBM taking the lead, the WCA and its members (representing more than one billion annual tons of cement production capacity) intend to present a Climate Action Plan this coming September. That plan will focus on clear and tangible measures for achieving transition to low-carbon production and for identifying successful approaches and contributions toward a carbon-neutral built environment. The plan will concentrate on five priorities: transparency, waste co-processing, material efficiency, innovative technologies and new business opportunities/models.

So, like the President said, let‘s stop talking and get to work.

Anett Fischer
ZKG International

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