Holcim Romania, Romania: Reducing CO2 emissions.

Holcim Romania, Romania: Reducing CO2 emissions

Lucovic Zelici, technical director, Govora power plant: "When the project started, we hoped that this solution would work. In 2005, 30,000 tonnes of fly ash were sent to the cement plant instead of being left as a burden for the future."

After acquiring three cement plants in Romania between 1997 and 2000 (Turda, Campulung and Alesd), Holcim gave high priority to the refurbishment and improvement of plant eco-efficiency and to projects which reduce CO2 emissions. We seized the opportunity for CO2 reduction through the production of blended cements based on the use of fly ash, a waste of coal-fired power stations.

Holcim Romania developed and implemented the project as part of the Joint Implementation flexible market mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol, under the supervision and with the financial support of the government of the Netherlands, and with the approval and support of the Romanian government.

The project posed some significant challenges. Fly ash is usually wet-discharged in Romania and slurry-pumped for landfilling close to the power plant. Yet for cement production fly ash should be dry-discharged. Investments were made at the cement plants for fly ash use and also at the power plant; dry discharging saves energy and water. Now the Govora power plant supplies two of three Holcim locations.

Periodic verification of CO2 emission reductions is undertaken by an independent third party. KPMG Sustainability B.V. verified emission reductions for the years 2004 - 2007 according to the Kyoto Protocol and the Marrakech Accords.

Stakeholder involvement from the beginning was a key success factor for the project and has led to positive results. Both local authorities and communities close to the cement and power plants have welcomed the cleaner environment resulting from the project.

Holcim project manager Oana Dicu is pleased with progress to date: "Winning the Dutch government tender with a project that reduces our CO2 emissions while offering a solution to a power plant's waste problem is one of the most challenging, yet rewarding, experiences I have had."

The project will result in a reduction of around 1.3 million tonnes of CO2 between 2004 and 2012 (given that the use of fly ash will reduce the clinker factor). Monitoring of results for the first years (2004 - 2007) showed a reduction of 532,729 tonnes of CO2, exceeding expectations with 32,729 t of CO2. In addition, over 125,000 tonnes of fly ash were recovered instead of being landfilled.

By the time the refurbishment, productivity and energy efficiency projects have been completed at the end of 2007, more than CHF 58 million will have been invested, an important contribution to environmental protection and CO2 reduction in Romania.