Displaying items by tag: Emissions
France: The European Parliament has voted to approve a proposal by the European Commission to reduce carbon credits by 2.2%/yr from 2021 in its Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). This is an increase from the 1.74% reduction specified in existing legislation. It will also double the capacity of the 2019 market stability reserve (MSR) to absorb the excess of credits or allowances on the market.
Members of the European Parliament (MEP) want to review the so-called ‘linear reduction factor’ with the intention to raising it to 2.4% by 2024 at the earliest. In addition MEPs want to double the MSR’s capacity to mop up the excess of credits on the market. When triggered, it would absorb up to 24% of the excess of credits in each auctioning year, for the first four years. They have agreed that 800 million allowances should be removed from the MSR as of 1 January 2021. Two funds will also be set up and financed by auctioning ETS allowances. A modernisation fund will help to upgrade energy systems in lower-income member states and an innovation fund will provide financial support for renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and low-carbon innovation projects.
The draft measures were approved by 379 votes to 263, with 57 abstentions. MEPs will now enter into negotiations with the Maltese Presidency of the European Council in order to reach an agreement on the final shape of the legislation, which will then come back to Parliament.
Environmental campaign group Sandbag has complained that the new proposal fails to hold to the European Union’s (EU) emissions reduction targets by 2030 that were signed as part of the Paris Agreement in 2016.
“Unless the Council intervenes to substantially strengthen the System, the EU ETS will now become simply an accounting mechanism, leaving meaningful climate action to happen elsewhere. The fact that the carbon price is unchanged as a result of the vote, still at a paltry Euro5, speaks volumes. Without being realigned with real emissions levels in 2020, the EU ETS may well end up existing for 25 years by 2030 without giving the any substantial impetus to decarbonisation,” said Rachel Solomon Williams, Managing Director at Sandbag.
Belgium: Cembureau, the European cement association, has lobbied members of the European Parliament with its opinion that the European Union (EU) Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) must maintain free allowances at the level of best-performers in order to achieve real emission reductions whilst maintaining a competitive industry in Europe. It expressed its views ahead of a scheduled vote in the plenary session of the Parliament in February 2017. One of its key demands was that fairness should be a key principle of policy making and that jobs in one sector are just as important as those in other sectors.
Cembureau called for the proposal to amend the EU ETS to ensure that all energy-intensive industries are on the carbon leakage list and all installations receive a free allocation based on ‘ambitious but realistic’ benchmarks, and benefit from free allocation based on actual production. It wants a sufficient number of free allocations for energy intensive industries at risk of carbon leakage to be made available, hence the auction share should not be higher than 52%. It also wants no further burden to be imposed on EU-ETS sectors. The 43% reduction objective and the 2.2% linear reduction factor for phase IV should not be further increased. Lastly, it has asked for support for innovation focus on energy intensive industries with an extension to cover the whole range of low carbon technologies including industrial carbon capture and utilisation (CCU). The Innovation Fund should be fully financed from the auctioning share.
In response to an amendment made by the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety committee (ENVI) the cement association said that it did not believe that this proposal could work. Its main concerns were: that introducing such a mechanism with a consequential loss of free allowances could create legal uncertainty and hamper further investments by the cement sector in Europe; that it would be impossible to measure the CO2 performance of third country producers; an overall lack of clarity as to how such scheme would operate; serious concerns about World Trade Organisation (WTO) compatibility; that application to a few sectors would only lead to discrimination in the downstream market where cement competes with other building materials (steel, glass, wood, asphalt) that are not subject to such a scheme; and that the suggested scheme would lead to a competitive disadvantage for European cement producers on export markets where local cement players are not subject to similar CO2 constraints.
Cembureau also used the opportunity to highlight some of the research projects the local sector is undertaking to improve its environmental performance, reduce CO2 emissions and improve energy efficiency.
Belgium: Environmental campaign group Sandbag says that research it has conducted has shown that proposed tariffs can protect European Union (EU) cement from ‘dirty’ competition and reward EU companies that produce low-carbon cement. It has released its data ahead of the a vote by the European Parliament in mid-February 2017 to decide on whether to adopt a new border adjustment mechanism (BAM) proposed by the Parliament’s Environment Committee.
The non-government organisation says that a BAM would require importers of cement and clinker into the EU to surrender emissions permits corresponding to the embedded carbon in their products, in the same way that domestic EU cement manufacturers are required to do at present. At the same time, cement, would no longer receive free allocation.
Previous research carried out by Sandbag suggests that the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) has driven cement emissions higher, whilst other European and national regulations and product standards discriminate against low-carbon cement companies. Over the last decade, the EU carbon market may have delivered more than Euro4.7bn in ‘windfall’ profits to cement companies. However, Sandbag say that border taxes could set cement producers on a level playing field by harmonising incentives to reduce product emissions within the EU.
“The EU can now implement a pragmatic and politically feasible solution for boosting low-carbon cement in Europe, and ending the scandal of enormous windfall profits to cement companies. However, this isn’t simply about cement. In a world of developing carbon markets with no unified set of rules, it is necessary to account for discrepancies in order to avoid offshoring of production,” said Wilf Lytton, an analyst at Sandbag.
UAE: The Environment Protection and Development Authority (EPDA) of Ras Al Khaimah is investigating unexpected emissions from a cement plant in Khor Khuweir. Resident had reported high levels of dust from the site, according to the Khaleej Times. An initial inspection by the EPDA has blamed the emissions on a blocked filter. It has also ordered the company that runs the plant to conduct an internal investigation and submit a detailed report on the incidents.
Previously the Ministry of Climate Change and Environment had ordered the one-month closure of a cement plant in the same area for breaking emissions rules. The EPDA has since installed surveillance cameras at 20 quarries and six cement units in the emirate.
Pakistan: Arif Habib Group plans to spend US$235m on upgrading its Power Cement plant in Nooriabad to 3.37Mt/yr from 0.9Mt/yr. The upgrade will be completed by the end of 2019, according to the Express Tribune newspaper. Company chairman Nasim Beg said that he was hoping to take advantage of growing cement demand in the country as the effects of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor heighten.
Power Cement has also completed a US$3.4m upgrade to its filter bag house equipment by installing new equipment to reduce dust emissions. Company officials say the plant is now capable of reducing dust emissions to just 17mg/m3. This is below the 300mg/m3 level set by the Environment Quality Standards in Pakistan and the World Bank’s limit of 100mg/m3 for old cement plants.
UAE: Union Cement’s waste heat recovery project has been recognised by the Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE) for reducing CO2 emissions in Dubai in 2016. Local projects under the emirate’s Carbon Abatement Strategy achieved an emissions reduction of 419,500t of CO2 in 2016 saving nearly US$1.4m, according to comments made by DCCE to the Gulf Today newspaper. Other projects that contributed to the saving included the Dubai 13MW Photovoltaic Plant and Dewa Energy Efficient Chillers. The DCCE promotes Dubai’s transition to a low-CO2 green economy and is responsible for monitoring the levels of CO2 emissions in the Emirate.
US: Drake Cement has applied to the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to revise its air quality permit in order increase its clinker production at its Paulden plant by 10% to 0.73Mt/yr from 0.66Mt/yr at present. The cement producer is required to make the application as the increased production could increase its emission of particulate matter. The plant is also requesting a removal of the rolling three-hour clinker production rate limit of 83.3t/hr and an increase in the allowable hours of quarry crushing operation. The ADEQ will be holding a public hearing on the revision on 19 January 2017.
LafargeHolcim, ArcelorMittal, Evonik and Solvay form partnership to reduce carbon emissions across industries17 November 2016
Morocco: LafargeHolcim, ArcelorMittal, Evonik and Solvay have formed a Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative across the steel, cement and chemicals industries. This new partnership will look at the potential synergies that exist between the manufacturing processes of these three energy intensive sectors, and how these synergies could be harnessed to reduce CO2 emissions.
As a first step, and following preliminary research, the innovative partnership will produce a study with the technical support of Arthur D Little to identify potential ways to valorise industrial off-gases and other by-products from their manufacturing processes to produce goods with a lower carbon footprint than through the fossil path. The preliminary research has already allowed identification of significant potential in selected trans-sector pathways.
The study is aimed at bringing a fact-based overview of carbon and energy sources from industrial off-gases (first at a European level), and evaluating the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of different Carbon Capture and Usage (CCU) pathways and their potential.
Initial findings from the first step already underway suggest that deploying cross-sector carbon capture and reuse opportunities on an industrial scale could reduce up to 3 GT/yr or 7% of global anthropogenic CO2 emissions. Existing conversion technologies that could be deployed across the three sectors could utilise by-products in the off-gases to create building materials, organic chemicals and fuel. Increased availability and greater access to renewable energy sources would significantly boost net carbon reduction efforts by those three sectors, within a supportive legislative framework. Cross sector carbon capture and reuse should also result in job creation, to be further investigated.
The study, carried out at European level, is building the ground for similar investigation extended at global level and paves the way for identifying and assessing industrial scale projects on CCU at the interface between the sectors.
“Concrete offers the highest level of life-cycle sustainability performance and we are continuously developing new products and solutions for a low carbon society. This new ambitious partnership will support our mission to cut our net emissions per ton of cement by 40% towards 2030 (versus 1990) and to develop and further deploy low carbon solutions for the construction sector. But to make this a reality, we will need an enabling regulatory framework and support for innovation,” said Bernard Mathieu, Head Group Sustainable Development of LafargeHolcim.
US: Holcim US has officially completed its US$96m upgrade project to its Hagerstown cement plant in Maryland. The two-year modernisation project has helped the plant to adhere to NESHAP environmental rules and has increased production capacity at the site by 0.2Mt/yr.
"A cornerstone of the regional community for 113 years, we recognise the importance of this facility to the Hagerstown community," said John Stull, chief executive officer of US cement operations for LafargeHolcim. "Our investment to modernise clinker production represents our continued commitment to our customers and local manufacturing. The facility will continue to be a strong and reliable partner to the community for many more years to come."
The upgrades to the plant should deliver a more than a 60% reduction to nitrogen oxides (NOx), approximately a 50% reduction to sulfur dioxide (SO2) and more than a 75% reduction to Particulate Matter (PM) emissions from the plant.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development helps to reduce carbon emissions from the Egyptian cement industry29 September 2016
Egypt: The Egyptian cement industry could reduce its CO2 emissions by 2030 by following new recommendations in a report from the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). These recommendations have been published in the EBRD’s report, ‘Policy roadmap for a Low-Carbon Egyptian Cement Industry,’ which highlights the need for decisive and collaborative action by the industry’s stakeholders in order to achieve a reduction in CO2 emissions.
“Improving environmental standards in the cement industry and offering commercial incentives is realistic and vital for the profitability of the sector,” said Philip ter Woort, the EBRD Director for Egypt.
The roadmap outlines recommendations for policy actions from the Egyptian government that may provide effective incentives for the cement industry to improve its energy efficiency and to reduce CO2 emissions. The report points out that the potential for improvement is high despite that 50% of the Egyptian cement industry’s production capacity was built after 2000, and is using up-to-date equipment and clinker kilns that use best available technology (BAT).
Until 2014, the Egyptian cement industry, one of the most energy intensive industries in the country, had primarily used state-subsidised natural gas and heavy fuel oil to fire its cement kilns. However, following a gradual phasing out of the energy subsidies, Egyptian cement companies have switched to using high CO2 intensive fuels such as coal and petcoke.
The roadmap suggests that in order to reduce CO2 emissions, the industry should reduce the clinker content in cement, increase the use of alternative fuels, improve electrical energy efficiency and use more renewable sources of energy. Under one of the more ambitious scenarios, 2.2Mt/yr of coal will no longer have to be imported by 2030, saving about US$200m. Furthermore this would lead to a reduction in CO2 emissions to about 2% below the historic level prior to the fuel switch. In addition the cement industry could increase its usage of alternative fuels substitution.
The report was initiated by the EBRD, in cooperation with Egypt’s Ministry of Industry and Trade, the Egyptian Environmental Affairs Agency (EEAA), the Chamber of Building Materials Industries/Cement Industry Association (CBMI) and the Cement Sustainability Initiative (CSI) of the World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD).