Some sectors perform at the global best levels, others can reach there

Published: Friday 30 April 2010

Some sectors perform at the global best levels, others can reach there

imageThis sector has a very high energy-saving potential vis-a-vis best available techniques. However, there is limitation to realise this saving potential because of the process route chosen to make steel and because the plants use coking and non-coking coal with high-ash content and iron ore with high silica and alumina content.

Steel production in India today is dominated by the Blast Furnace-Basic Oxygen Furnace (BF-BOF) route. In the future, production will shift decisively towards Direct Reduced Iron-Electric Furnace (DRI-EF) process route. The problem is DRI-EF is less efficient than BF-BOF and their emissions-saving potential is also not as high as that of BF-BOF. Secondly, the emissions-saving potential of a DRI-EF plant can be easily implemented by 2020-21 in BAU. The result is the emissions intensity reduces by about 8 per cent in BAU and 17 per cent in LC between 2008-09 and 2020-21. After 2020-21, emissions intensity stagnates.

For this sector, the future after 2020 is a cul-de-sac. What should be done? Should steel companies begin to opt for BF-BOF from today itself? Who will import the coking coal this more efficient process route requires. India has no reserves of this raw material?

imageThe Indian cement industry is probably the most energy-efficient in the world today. While the market share of blended cement (which is less energy and emission intensive than ordinary portland cement) is high in India, the percentage of blending material in cement is still lower than what is possible.

This sector can further lower its emissions intensity by increasing the proportion of blended cement in its total production.

Further, the percentage of blending material in cement needs to increase. In this context, this sector faces regulatory constraints. Current regulations allow only one type of blending material (flyash or slag) and the percentage blending is fixed. This need to be sorted out.

The sector can also recover waste heat from the clinker cooler and convert it into electricity. But installing waste heat recovery boilers is currently very expensive. In this sector, emissions intensity under the business as usual scenario reduces by about 25 per cent between 2008-09 and 2030-31.

In low carbon growth, the emissions intensity can be reduced by 35 per cent.

Aluminium The performance of aluminium smelters based on the pre-baked technology, accounting for about 80 per cent of production, is among the best in the world in terms of electricity consumption and perfluorocarbon emissions. But fuel consumed in the refinery for alumina production is high. Companies rely on inefficient coal-fired captive power plants, resulting in high emission intensity.

Low carbon growth will require converting remaining capacity of Soderberg smelters to pre-baked anode systems, which is expected to take place even in BAU. To reduce fuel consumption for alumina production, the industry will have to adopt energy-efficient technology. However, sourcing a high proportion of electricity from renewables and switching to high-efficiency captive power generation will provide the lion’s share of emission reduction.

Emissions intensity under BAU reduces by about 17 per cent between 2008-09 and 2020-21. It stagnates after 2020-21. In the LC scenario, there’s about 40 per cent reduction in emissions intensity between 2008-09 and 2020-21 (but this will need 30 per cent of the total energy to come from renewables). Beyond this, emissions intensity stagnates.

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