By SeeNews team
Q: The Titan Zlatna Panega plant has recently launched a refuse-derived fuel (RDF) installation which is expected to provide about a quarter of the fuel needed for the plant’s furnaces. What is Titan Zlatna Panega’s long-term goal regarding the share of alternative fuel it uses? How does it plan to achieve this goal?
A: Our long-term target is to replace 75% of the coal use of our Zlatna Panega plant with alternative fuels by 2016. Since 2003, we have been utilising waste tires as a substitute of 5.0% of the required coal. In the end of August 2011 the installation for refuse-derived fuel (RDF) was put in operation and it will allow further reduction of the coal consumption by 20%. Refuse-derived fuel is a mixture of different solid waste materials like plastic, paper, textile, rubber, oil sludge, biomass, etc. RDF is not waste, but a marketable product that must meet strict end-user requirements for a solid fuel.
Q: As part of its alternative fuels policy, the Zlatna Panega plant has launched a biomass research project. Could you tell us more about it?
A: The launched biomass project includes research for availability of wood chips produced from logging residues and rice husk and the experimental growing of energy crops and fast growing trees. Small experimental plots of land have already been planted with miscanthus, switchgrass, poplar, acacia and paulownia. In 2011, additional land will be planted with artichoke and sorghum. This sort of biomass dries up in the field additives in order to be able to produce high-quality cement with lower clinker content by using additives in the form of residues from the metallurgy and power plants. These blended types of cement have a significantly lower CO2 footprint compared to the pure clinker cement.
Q: How does Zlatna Panega Cement plan to decrease its CO2 footprint? How big a reduction of CO2 emissions does the plant target?
A: Zlatna Panega Cement has a long-term plan for decreasing the CO2 footprint of its operations. As elaborated before, the activities already started are related to the replacement of the use of fossil fuels with alternative fuels made from waste. The tires and the RDF have a certain biomass content – natural rubber and textile (in tires and RDF) as well as non-recyclable paper, wood, etc (in RDF). All these waste materials, used as fuel, are carbon neutral. The two alternative fuel streams – waste tires and RDF – already lead to 20% reduction of CO2 emissions, compared to a scenario with exclusive use of fossil fuels. The utilisation of additives as well as the strategically envisaged investments in renewable energy will further decrease the CO2 footprint of our products and operations.
Q: With energy prices constantly increasing, what are your plans in energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy?
A: In our view, the most cost-effective way of meeting our energy demands while fighting climate changes is, on one hand, to use energy more efficiently and, on the other, to make use of energy from renewable sources. In order to achieve our long-term goal of having a modern, climate-friendly, sustainable and secure energy supply for our plant in Zlatna Panega, the use of renewable energy will be expanded rigorously and energy efficiency will be further increased with the final aim of having renewable energy contribute the main share to our energy supply.
Q: The Zlatna Panega plant and quarries are located in biodiversity-rich areas. What are the company’s conservation projects?
A: In order for us to get a clearer idea about the existing flora and fauna in the Zlatna Panega quarry and allow us to prepare a conservation plan and proper operation plans, an environmental study was conducted in 2009 by the UK consulting company Atkins. The study showed that various rare species were found in the vicinity of the quarry. In order to save them, we have contacted specialists from the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences who helped us relocate the protected orchid species Spiranthes spiralis. Furthermore, this autumn we plan to make a nursery for local species that will be used in the reclamation of our quarries.
Q: Water management plays a significant part in cement production. What are the highlights in your water management strategy?
A: Cement production requires water for cooling the hot gases in the kiln, the production equipment and for irrigation. In order to improve the quality of the water and to make its use more efficient we have built a new sewerage system; treatment plants for industrial and household waters; a recycling system for the industrial water; a settlement tank for rain water from the fuel storage. In order to avoid losses, the purified water in the treatment plant for industrial waters is returned to the cycle while fresh water is used only for refilling. Since 2011, we also started using recycled water for suppression of fugitive dust at the plant roads. Our plans are to further decrease fresh water consumption.