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Project funding for energy conservation: Part 1

World Cement,


Project funding and financing through private, developmental or commercial financial institutions has become a critical part of an overall large capital project development and approval in the cement industry.

Funding criteria depend on a variety of factors, including the commercial situation of a cement manufacturing company, the project location, as well as the actual situation of plant technology and the overall financial performance of the large capital project. Moreover, attractive long-term loans could supplement the project feasibility.

Many loaning institutions and banks, in particular those that support sustainable development such as the World Bank, the European Investment Bank (EIB), the Deutsche Investitions-und Entwicklungs Gesellschaft (DEG), etc., have established dedicated funds for energy conservation projects. These funds have not been recognised and utilised by owners, although many cement plant modernisation and/or upgrading projects are directly related to energy conservation. CEMCON has identified that the key to applying for such funds is a standardised energy conservation assessment (ECA) to validate the proposed energy savings relevant to the loaning application.

CEMCON, based in Switzerland, is specialised in the cement, mineral and environmental industries and is an independent partner for the development of large capital projects and energy conservation assessments. The company provides technical and strategic expertise and access to its global project and energy databases.

CEMCON has successfully completed various energy conservation assessments. Recently, two projects in Myanmar, one of the fastest growing cement markets in Southeast Asia, were the subject of these assessments and ECA. Both plants were operated on low capacity 500 tpd, wet process technology but are subject to modernisation, utilising a dry process system, and a capacity increase to 2100 tpd. The projects have been selected as a background to this article, as most major aspects of potential energy savings in relation to application for energy conservation funds were incorporated in this ECA. The outcome of the assessments resulted in general considerations in addition to the particularities of each project, and these are presented below.

Systematic of an ECA

An energy conservation assessment considers all aspects of energy savings. Strategic energy conservations can be categorised as follows.

Technology/machinery related energy savings included:

  • Thermal energy conservation.
  • Electrical energy (MV as well as LV) conservation.
  • Alternative energy generation (e.g. waste heat recovery, wind energy, solar energy, etc).
  • Alternative heating by waste gas utilisation or air conditioning by solar energy.

Product related energy savings included:

  • Optimisation of raw mixture and clinker composition.
  • Utilisation of alternative fuel and raw materials (AFR).
  • Substitution of clinker component in cement and improvement of the cement product portfolio.

An energy conservation assessment not only includes direct savings in energy and related commercial benefits, but also has environmental benefits. A major requirement is also the tracking and reduction of the CO2 emissions as a result of a particular energy conservation project/measure.

All energy savings and CO2 reductions are then transferred into an energy conservation passport, a standardised format allowing the direct comparison and effect of each energy conservation measure.

According to this standardised categorisation in the energy conservation passport, a decision on the feasibility (on a stand-alone basis) and priority of each conservation measure can be concluded.

Read part 2 here.

Written by Piet Heersche and Dr Hans Wilhelm Meyer, Cemcon AG, Switzerland. This is an abridged version of the full article, which appeared in the February 2014 issue of World Cement. Subscribers can view the full article by logging in.

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