Various Group companies: Renewable energy initiatives.

Various Group companies: Renewable energy initiatives

Using renewable energy resources helps Holcim to diversify its energy mix and achieve its CO 2 reduction target.

Holcim currently has more than eight CDM projects in different stages of development in several countries, while others are currently undergoing feasibility studies.

Owing to its versatile asset base, wide geographical presence, multitude of installations and product portfolio, Holcim is in an optimal position to take up the incentive of the flexible markets instruments offered by the Kyoto Protocol (Emissions Trading, Clean Development Mechanism and Joint Implementation). It is also able to engage in projects and renewable energy initiatives that would not normally be common practice.

Holcim has undertaken several initiatives as part of Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects. Even though the rules are quite restrictive, Holcim has pursued a number of challenging opportunities, including:

  • biomass and other alternative fossil fuel opportunities in Ecuador, India, Indonesia and the Philippines
  • wind energy in India
  • biomass and waste heat recovery for power generation in China, India and Thailand.

PT Holcim Indonesia has a biomass initiative currently undergoing validation by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The project aims to co-process rice husks, sawdust and palm kernel shells to partially replace coal at its Narogong and Cilacap plants in Java. The project, launched in 2005, forms part of a wider eco-efficiency program encompassing other CO2 emission reduction activities.

The state of Tamil Nadu in India has been proactively promoting and adopting renewable sources of energy. In October 2007, the Holcim Group company in India, ACC, commissioned its first wind energy farm. The power it generates is supplied to ACC's Madukkarai plant via the state power grid, and excess power not used by the plant is offered back to the grid.

Five Holcim cement plants in China are planning to invest in a low-temperature waste heat power generation system that recovers waste heat from the cement production process. Using the heat recovered, special boilers will generate steam to drive turbines and generators. The resulting electricity supply will be used in cement production, thereby decreasing coal consumption. These projects are also undergoing UNFCCC validation.

Through advanced technologies, ACC in India and Holcim Spain are investigating the sequestration (capture and storage) of CO2. The aim is to produce algae biomass, which can then be used to return recycled energy to the cement production process, thus closing the energy loop and reducing emissions.

Holcim Italia is developing a biomass power plant at Valtellina, which will be able to deliver around 13% of Holcim Italia's current power consumption when it comes on stream in 2010. This will contribute toward realizing the EU target of sourcing 20% of energy needs from renewable sources by 2020. The plant will be fueled with biomass from local sources, using by-products from neighboring saw mills, pruning waste or wood that has been sustainably extracted from local forests.