Cemtech Asia 2012
Following the resounding success of conferences held in Singapore, Bali and Jakarta, Cemtech Asia has secured its position as the leading annual meeting place for cement producers in Asia. Read a full conference report of the recent Cemtech Asia 2012 event held in Jakarta, Indonesia, in June.
Those arriving in Indonesia for the first time are likely to be impressed, not just by the tropical weather and warm Asian hospitality, but by the inescapable feeling that here is a country on the move: a burgeoning population of 240m – nowhere more apparent than in the bustling capital city of Jakarta – growing industries, infrastructure projects, a robust economy and not least, a dynamic cement market. In other words, the perfect host country for the annual Cemtech Asia Conference and Exhibition.
This year over 200 senior level industry professionals from some 25 countries congregated for three days of conference activities and fine hospitality at the superb Hotel Mulia Senayan in Jakarta. Proceedings centred around the conference programme of 26 carefully-selected papers spanning market developments, the latest projects in the region, trends in the application of new technologies, a special focus on alternative fuels and, importantly, distribution and logistics. Cemtech Asia also hosted a large exhibition featuring 30 of the leading global equipment suppliers currently active in Asia, offering a one-stop shop for producers seeking to establish new operations or upgrade existing facilities to meet increased demand in their local markets.
Bright future ahead
Welcoming delegates to the meeting on behalf of Cemtech organisers, conference director Thomas Armstrong noted the dramatic political and economic events taking place throughout the world, including faltering growth in the major powerhouse economies of the US and China, and the precarious situation in Europe where the survival of the euro is at stake. Nevertheless, the outlook in other regions is certainly more positive, and nowhere is this more true than in Indonesia, which has enjoyed economic growth trending at over five per cent per annum for 10 years. Indeed, most observers foresee a bright future for the local cement industry over the coming decade, during which time supply will have to double from the current capacity of 57Mta to meet projected demand. This presents a significant practical challenge, especially with the land acquisition issues currently faced by the promoters of new projects. But it is also a great opportunity for the industry to grow into a modern, sustainable and profitable sector.
The main session got underway under the chairmanship of industry veteran and long-term Cemtech collaborator, Dr Randolph Wintgens, whose first task was to introduce Widodo Santoso, chairman of the Indonesian Cement Association. His presentation provided a comprehensive update on developments in Indonesia’s cement market. High double-digit demand growth, underpinned by a solid economy and favourable demographics, saw consumption reach 48Mt in 2011. Meanwhile, clinker and cement capacities have reached 43Mta and 57Mta, respectively, with industry players set to install a projected 24Mta capacity by 2015 alone. Leading this charge is HeidelbergCement subsidiary, Indocement, which will add 6.3Mta by 2015.
Next up, Jakob Friis Sørensen, chairman of the European Business Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia, and also CEO of Maersk Indonesia, offered delegates a positive overview of the business climate in the host country. Of note are the impressive demographic and macroeconomic characteristics that will ensure Indonesia remains one of the key emerging markets worldwide for the foreseeable future: the country is the world’s fourth most populous nation with 50 per cent of the population below 29 years, a massive consumer market and growing middle class. Crucially, infrastructure still needs considerable investment, which bodes well for future cement consumption. On the other hand, distribution of cement, as well as other products, remains significantly restricted due to lack of efficiency and capacity in transportation infrastructure.
The first session culminated in the keynote speech delivered by Panggah Susanto, director general of Basic Manufacturing Industries representing Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry. He observed the extraordinary growth in demand for cement in Indonesia which is set to continue in the foreseeable future: “While the growth of demand from January through April 2012 already reached 16.6 per cent YoY, further growth is expected over the coming years since Indonesia’s cement consumption per capita is currently just 200kg, which is relatively lower than other countries, particularly in the ASEAN region, where most of countries have more than 300kg per capita.” Significantly, Mr Susanto noted that due to the strategic nature of the cement industry, it has been accorded priority status by the government as part of the country’s wider development plan. A range of tax incentives and tax holidays are in place to attract investment. Most recently is the exemption from import duty of capital goods.
The next session, now presided over by Cemtech’s ever dependable chairman Keith Hall, saw the agenda widen beyond Indonesia as Luis Prieto, cement sector Research Analyst at Deutsche Bank AG, delivered his overview and insights into the changing global cement industry. His analysis focussed on how the sharp macro-driven cement volume downturn in developed markets, reduced capacity utilisation and weaker pricing have led to a situation where the European majors are experiencing returns below the cost of capital. In the meantime, their preoccupation with financial deleveraging is opening up opportunities for emerging market players to expand overseas by either selectively investing in developed market assets, or new greenfield expansion.
As the focus shifted to key regional markets, Martin Wilkes, independent consultant based in Indonesia, provided a concise profile of the Malaysian industry, where capacity now stands at 29Mta versus a domestic consumption of 17.7Mt, resulting in a significant export surplus. Nevertheless, domestic companies including CMS in Sarawak are upgrading operations to the tune of around 4.5Mta over the coming three years, illustrating the level of confidence in the future of the market in this part of Asia.
Marilyn Gardner, a trading specialist based in Perth, Australia, provided a full update of the Australian cement industry, where the combined impact of the carbon tax, increased domestic transportation costs and strong Australian dollar is likely to challenge the domestic industry while opening up the market to higher levels of imports going forward, from their current level of 1.9Mt (2012E).
With their robust economies and large populations, it is no surprise that some of the largest cement plants are currently being installed throughout the Asian region. Otto Andri Priyono of PT Semen Gresik, Indonesia’s largest cement producer, presented the company’s new Tuban IV cement plant project in East Java. The 3Mta plant, which was constructed in 31 months and was fully project-managed by an in-house team, is a modern installation, fully equipped with the latest alternative fuel systems, low NOx calciner, vertical cement mills, and aptly shows the continued technical modernisation and expansion of Indonesia’s leading cement producer.
Rajeev Kurumthattil of ACC Ltd (India) presented a fascinating review of the construction and commissioning of ACC’s 12,500tpd clinker line at Wadi Cement. The project represents the cutting edge of large-scale clinker production and is the result of groundbreaking joint efforts by FLSmidth and ACC engineers to realise, what is understood to be, the single-largest unit of its kind in the world with unprecedented economies of scale. The facility now serves two satellite grinding units, located in proximity of the end market, thereby optimising logistics and the efficient distribution of cement to markets in southwest India.
Rounding off a stimulating insight into the latest major projects in the region, Jens Neugebauer, general manager of Polysius Asia, gave a presentation on the benefits of the turnkey approach to new plant construction. This solution, which transfers all supply, engineering and onsite construction responsibilities to the supplier, has increased in popularity dramatically over the last decade, rising nine-fold according to Polysius estimates, and is an important option for all new plant investors to consider.
Cement manufacturing technology explored
The comprehensive presentation programme then continued over the course of the two days to explore current insights into all aspects of the cement manufacturing process.
Jagdeep Verma of Holtec Consulting (India) made a compelling case for effective asset management, an essential tool for unlocking return on investment in a cement plant, while Ganesh Kamath presented ABB’s new ‘FingerPrint’ approach to service and optimisation with a case study from India. Con Manias, managing director of FCT International, led delegates through the benefits of the Continuous On-Stream Mineral Analyser (COSMA) for online, real-time continuous XRD analysis, and demonstrated how producers can lower clinker factor while maintaining production of cement at the same quality, resulting in savings as high as US$1m per annum. Arthur Harrisson, independent consultant specialising in cement chemistry and regular contributor to International Cement Review, provided a master class in modern cement manufacture and the design of blended cements, exploring the technicalities of producing low-CO2 cements, the complexities of blending versus interground cement, and issues related to the use of limestone, fly ash and blastfurnace slag to produce composite cements.
Grinding technologies provided yet another central theme in the proceedings. Bernhard Schröder of Loesche GmbH (Germany) demonstrated the energy efficiency of vertical roller mills based on recent references from PT Semen Tonasa (Indonesia) and Bharati Cement (India). Mike Kleinebecker presented a case study on the upgrade of Phoenix Zementwerke’s grinding system with Christian Pfeiffer’s QDK high-efficiency separator, enabling the German producer to secure energy savings of up to 20 per cent on the production of its CEMII 32.5R type cement. Moises Nunez of Cemengal (Spain) presented a thought-provoking presentation on the new, small-scale ‘Plug & Grind’ ball mill. With a capacity of just 90,000tpa, the mill is designed to fit within just eight standard 40ft containers, making it simple to ship and install almost anywhere in the world. We look forward to hearing about the experiences of this innovative grinding unit at future Cemtech events.
Survey of AF technology
The utilisation of alternative fuels by cement producers in Asia is advancing rapidly. Dr Kåre Helge Karstensen of SINTEF (Norway) and the Asian Institute of Technology (Thailand), argued that the global increase of waste quantities, estimated to increase by 145 per cent by 2030 from 2004, presents a huge opportunity for the global cement industry, with its unique ability to safely dispose of all waste streams and eliminate pollution while economically recovering valuable energy through co-processing. Dr Karstensen was able to show several case studies illustrating the cement industry’s active and growing role in the disposal of hazardous waste chemicals in Asia. The scale of the opportunity is perhaps best demonstrated in China, where over 1bnt of industrial waste and 150Mt of municipal solid waste is generated each year.
Building on this theme, Vincent Aloysius of Geocycle (Indonesia) presented a case study on the safe treatment of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) in Indonesia. Drawing on technology developed in Japan, the safe disposal of ODS is now possible for the first time in Southeast Asia, eliminating the need for responsible corporations to send their ODS abroad at very high costs. A TEC (Austria) complemented the session with a case study illustrating a comprehensive alternative fuel system, incorporating storage, dosing, feeding to the kiln and calciner at the Leube cement plant in Germany, perfectly demonstrating the feasibility of retrofitting a comprehensive AF system to an existing plant. Completing this segment on alternative fuels, Hervé Heller of Walter Materials Handling/ ATS Group (France) provided a detailed overview of the equipment and processes involved in the delivery of solid alternative fuels to the kiln. Mogens Føns concluded the section on pyroprocessing with a impressive case study about the retrofit of a 1500tpd Føns Delta Cooler at Askale cement plant in Turkey, completed in only 15 days from flame-on to flame-off.
Distribution and logistics
Moving to storage, distribution and logistics, Alex Bergus of Primasonics (UK) delivered an expert presentation of acoustic cleaners and their role in the prevention and removal of build-up and blockages in bulk silos. Dicken Sze of IBAU Hamburg (Germany) provided a fascinating overview of marine terminal design and pertinent case studies for the Indonesian market, where marine distribution is set to play such an important role in the distribution of cement throughout the world’s largest archipelago. Land logistics were covered by Markus Lanz of Fritz & Macziol (Germany) who presented the VAS® software specialised in the control of automatic loading and unloading of bulk materials that has recently been rolled out across five plants and terminals belonging to Holcim Philippines.
Completing this important session, Ad Ligthart of Cement Distribution Consultants provided a comprehensive survey of cement and clinker flows in Asia. Waterborne transportation of cement and clinker in the region is estimated to have reached 145Mt in 2011, of which 62Mt represents exports from the region and the balance attributed to waterborne domestic distribution. The presentation provided an exciting preview of the Global Cement Trade & Distribution Handbook, authored by CDC, which is set to be published in December 2012 by International Cement Review.
The extensive technical content of the programme was supplemented by the Cemtech Workshop, led by Dr Michael Clark, which explored the kiln mass balance and its influence on productivity, clinker quality and emissions. This popular workshop provided plant managers, process engineers and other technical personnel the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding into the science of modern cement manufacturing practices. This will ultimately enable participants to make better operational and investment decisions, particularly with regard to waste heat recovery systems and alternative fuel and raw material strategies.
A complimentary hospitality programme – always a special ‘value added’ feature of all Cemtech events – provided plenty of opportunities for delegates to network and enjoy some of the local food and rich cultural heritage on offer in Indonesia. The Gala Dinner on the final evening, complete with music and dance representing many of Indonesia’s varied cultural traditions, served as the grand finale for this successful event, which has now firmly established itself as the leading annual meeting for cement producers in Asia. Cemtech thanks all participants, speakers and exhibitors for making this event such a success, and looks forward to returning again to the region in 2013.
Article first published in International Cement Review, August 2012.
The next Cemtech Conference and Exhibition will take place on 23-26 September 2012 at the InterContinentalHotel, Geneva, Switzerland. For more information or to register online: www.Cemtech.com/Europe2012