25 February 2013
India’s cement industry is the second-largest in the world after China’s, and it more than doubled output from 2000 to 2010. The sector is the third-largest energy consumer in India’s manufacturing sector, and because production involves burning limestone, or calcium carbonate, a significant geological repository for carbon, it is responsible for 7% of India’s emissions of carbon dioxide that increase global temperature.
India’s cement industry has already reduced direct and indirect CO2 emissions per tonne of cement by more than a third since 1996, but total emissions are growing with increased production. The new roadmap specifies technologies, policy frameworks and investment plans that would limit that growth to just a doubling or at most a 240% increase. Techniques range from alternative fuels to waste heat recovery and include carbon capture and storage (CCS), with total additional investments through 2050 of USD 29 billion to 50 billion.
The recommendations in Technology Roadmap: Low-Carbon Technology for the Indian Cement Industry also would save the sector at least 375 petajoules of energy in 2050, the equivalent of current annual energy use in Sri Lanka or Bulgaria. Supported by the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the initiative also includes tools and financing for feasibility studies of the roadmap’s low-carbon technology at select plants.