KARACHI: A number of cement makers are setting up solar and coal-fired power plants to curtail surging electricity expenses which is a material component of cement manufacturing cost.

From January 2021 till date, manufacturers have also informed the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) about their plans and commissioning of solar and coal-fired plants.

Attock Cement Pakistan Ltd (ACPL) company secretary Irfan Amanullah told Dawn that the Rs1.8 billion 20-megawatt solar power plant had successfully been commissioned from Jan 1 at the existing plant premises in collaboration with Attock Energy (Pvt) Ltd and leading Chinese suppliers.

He said if the cement makers do not invest in alternative energy/power solutions, the cost of making cement would increase by at least Rs60 per 50 kg bag based on the current grid power tariff.

Mr Irfan said manufacturers are investing in clean energy solutions to minimise the cost of cement manufacturing.

Power Cement Ltd (PCL) has also decided to explore environmentally friendly renewable energy solutions without any major capacity expansion.

PCL signed an agreement with Burj Solar Energy Ltd on Jan 6 for procurement of electricity on a fixed tariff (around 40pc lower than the existing grid tariff) for the next 20 years. The supplier will invest by setting up a dedicated 7MW solar power plant at the existing site of the company which is expected to become operational within the next six to eight months.

Flying Cement Company Ltd (FCCL) on Jan 3 announced that it had successfully started commercial operations of 12MW captive power plant (CPP) in District Khushab.

FCCL said the key objective of the CPP is cost rationalisation and lower dependency on Wapda’s power supply. The company is contemplating saving the energy cost by up to 30pc, which would positively reflect on the company’s financial performance and profitability.

In the third week of October 2021, Bestway Cement Ltd (BCL) said it had decided to set up a brownfield cement plant with a capacity of 7,200 tonnes clinker per day at its Hattar Site, District Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, along with a nine-megawatt Waste Heat Recovery Plant.

BCL had entered into an EPC agreement with Sinoma International Engineering Company Ltd.

BCL had also decided to set up a 6.4MW off-grid solar power plant at the same site for which an agreement has been entered into with Reon Energy.

DG Khan Cement Company Ltd (DGKCCL) on Sept 10, 2021 said that the company had successfully completed the second phase of installation and commissioning of a 30MW captive coal-fired plant with air-cooled condenser technology at Hub Site, District Lasbela, Balochistan.

The plant is based on a high temperature and pressure reheat thermal system which would generally improve the overall efficiency of the captive power plant. With the completion of this phase, the captive power generation of this project had reached 40MW.

Maple Leaf Cement Factory Company (MLCFC) in August 2021 said the company had signed a contract with plant supplier zero carbon for a 5MW solar plant at the existing plant site in Iskandarabad Mianwali. The Rs450m project is expected to start generation this month.

Published in Dawn, January 9th, 2022

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