Siam City Cement’s sustainable growth

Siam City Cement’s sustainable growth
Published: 15 October 2010

In its goal to establish Siam City Cement as the leading green company in the cement sector, managing director Philippe Arto this week released a sustainable development report that grades its energy conservation efforts and green initiatives.

"It is important to back our words with tangible results," says Arto who heads Thailand’s second largest cement producer.

In a comprehensive review of operations and an assessment of its green units’ performance last year, the report shows an impressive record as well as substantial successes.

SCCC’s ability to reduce coal burn ing, which considerably reduces production costs, also cut carbon emissions, which causes global warming.

Thanks to its thermal energy programme that taps immense heat from its kilns, SCCC now produces about 20MW of power.

This translates to savings of more than THB350m a year, Arto says.

The company aims to save even more money by boosting its power production to 32MW over the next few years and possibly generate 42MW thereafter.

The thermal programme is among the highlights of the report, which also measures its performances in key areas such as dust emission, sulphur dioxide emission and nitrogen oxide emission.

The amount of dust and sulphur dioxide released by SCCC last year showed a big drop over 2008 while its nitrogen oxide emission showed an increase.

Arto says the report shows both its strengths and weaknesses. But overall, the evaluation does show the company complies with the international safety levels.

In some areas, he says SCCC is doing a little better than Holcim, its global partner that owns a third of the company. Holcim provides SCCC much of its advanced technology, enhancing the Thai producer’s standards and margins.

Another big success story has been waste disposal and recycling of waste. Its Geocycle unit now destroys waste at its Saraburi plant, thus helping to reduce illegal dumping, which poses a grave threat to communities living near unsafe garbage grounds.

By incinerating waste, Geocycle also helps SCCC’s recycle programme that uses the ash as a byproduct to be mixed with cement and other materials for reuse.

Its other green unit, Conwood, makes building products using recycled materials, which is proving popular because they are safe and durable.

In its social work, SCCC has embarked on building "green schools" run by the Border Patrol Police in the country’s more remote areas. The schools, under the patronage of Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, are constructed with the help of the Association of Siamese Architects and Dusit Technical College.

The company has spent about THB5m to build needy schools at Chiang Mai, Chiang Rai and at Prachuap Khiri Khan.

Its latest undertaking in Pran Buri district of Prachuap includes a building housing a clinic, a library and handicraft centre.

"Because the schools is far from power grids, they have no electricity," Arto says. "As such, they have to be built in a way that allows natural cooling using wind ventilation and employ natural light to make up for the absence of lighting."

SCCC plans to build nine more green schools next year.