Cement major ACC is likely to launch in the next one year an environment-friendly cement that will emit less carbon dioxide (CO2) while being produced.

The new environment-friendly cement will emit 400-450 kg of CO2 per tonne at the time of burning limestone during its production, while the same is about 900 kg in the case of conventional cement.

According to sources in the know of the development, ACC’s R&D division at Thane has been working on this for the last one year and is now carrying out pilot production.

“The development is almost complete and ACC is now doing the pilot testing. It will take about another one year to commercially launch the product as pricing, branding and some other issues have not been decided yet,” a source said.

The new product will cost more than the ordinary cement, sources said.

The company is yet to decide whether the final product will be marketed by the group firm or Ambuja Cement which shares the R&D centre at Thane.

As per the plan, the company will introduce the product in a few areas initially. Later, it will expand distribution of the new cement across India based on customer feedback.

When contacted, a company spokesperson declined to comment on the development.

“The new product is being developed by using lesser limestone. The quality remains same as some additives are used during the production process, besides improvement in grinding techniques,” another source said.

Cement production has always remained a concern for global warming due to the high energy requirements and the release of significant amounts of CO2.

Besides, ACC has embarked upon an ambitious project for substituting five per cent of its annual coal requirement of about five million tonnes over the next three years with waste generated by cities and industries. It has already replaced two per cent of its coal requirement with all types of wastes.

The company, which saved Rs 47 crore last year on fossil fuels, aims to save Rs 60 crore in 2011 by burning waste, primarily plastics, at its plants.

Global cement major Holcim-controlled ACC has an installed production capacity of 30 million tonnes per annum in India.

Apart from waste management, the company has also undertaken a drive to plant jatropha and castor trees in and around its mines, plants, townships and waste land. As of 2010, it had planted two million saplings out of its target of five million trees.

(This article was published on October 30, 2011)
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