Study reveals cost of decarbonising India's cement industry

Study reveals cost of decarbonising India's cement industry
16 October 2023

India’s steel and cement plants will require INR47trn (US$627bn) in additional capital expenditure (capex) to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, according to independent studies by the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW). The studies also suggest that both industries will require additional operational expenditure (opex) of INR1trn each year to go net zero.

The study also found that an 8-25 per cent reduction in steel emissions and 32 per cent reduction in cement emissions is possible without any price increase by adopting efficient technologies such as waste heat recovery, and energy efficient drives and controls. Moreover, a 33 per cent reduction in the combined carbon emissions of the steel and cement industries could be achieved with just 8.5 per cent of the total additional capex and 30 per cent of the additional annual open. This reduction can be obtained without considering the need for carbon capture and with the requisite supply of alternative fuels and raw materials.

“Decarbonising India’s steel and cement industries will not only help it meet its climate ambitions but also make its industries market competitive and future-ready in a world with increasingly sustainability-driven regulations," explained Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO of CEEW. “CEEW’s pioneering work with these marginal abatement cost (MAC) curves provide the necessary foundation to quantify the potential for emissions mitigation from these heavy industries and the associated costs. Such analysis is necessary to help inform policies and systematically pursue India’s net-zero targets in pursuit of decarbonisation without deindustrialisation.”

The study showed that about 50 per cent of cement plants in India need access to CO2 pipelines for carbon capture and storage. These pipelines can be constructed using existing natural gas pipelines’ right-of-way. Without such pipelines, these plants cannot opt for CCS. According to CEEW, India's government should develop a policy to and expedite the establishment of a CCUS ecosystem to abate more than half of the emissions from the existing steel and cement plants. Since hydrogen will play a key role in its implementation, the next phase of the National Green Hydrogen Mission should focus on this agenda.

Published under Cement News