Cutting energy use in the cement industry through smart use of waste heat

June 16, 2014
A new report shows the huge potential for cutting energy use through the use of waste heat recovery (WHR) in cement production.

The report, Waste Heat Recovery for the Cement Sector: Market and Supplier Analysis, analyzes the current status of WHR in developing countries and investigates the success factors in countries where it has become widespread, with a detailed focus on 12 countries, including Brazil, India, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey and China. The report was written by IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and IIP.

Cement is currently the world’s most widely-used construction material and the industry has a significant environmental footprint due to the extensive amounts of energy and raw materials used in the process. Cement production is responsible for about five percent of global CO2 emissions. Total worldwide cement consumption reached 3,312 Mt in 2010, up 10.4 percent on the previous year, an increase driven by economic expansion in emerging economies.

WHR provides an elegant solution to cutting energy use and emissions in the sector. It works by recovering the heat produced as a by-product of clinker production to generate up to 30 percent of a cement plant’s power needs.

Key findings from the report include:

  • WHR is a proven technology, but until now uptake has been limited except in China.
  • Regulatory measures and lower capital costs have been key factors behind China’s success in mainstreaming WHR technology.
  • WHR can reduce the operating costs and improve EBITDA margins of cement plants by about 10 to 15 percent.
  • WHR can improve the reliability of power supply for cement facilities.
  • There is a clear business opportunity in using WHR, but financing is key to realize the untapped potential.
  • There is strong potential for WHR in Asia and Latin America as well as in Africa and the Middle East.

Read the report.

Read the IFC and IIP’s presentation on the report at the Intercem Conference in Nairobi, Kenya on June 18.