PK Cement Ind. With Govt Support Can Attain Low Carbon Economy

Farooq Ahmed said the cement industry can continue to innovate, reduce its carbon footprint and move towards low-carbon economy if it gets support from the government.

Despite having a sizable impact on carbon emissions, the cement industry in Pakistan has the potential to lead the charge in reducing emissions and moving towards a low-carbon economy, according to experts, if given enough support and incentives from the government.

Decarbonization is essential for achieving Sustainable Development Goal 7, according to Ubaid ur Rehman Zia, Senior Research Economist at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), who made this statement while speaking with the media.

He claimed that Pakistan’s industrial sector bears heavy responsibility for carbon emissions, accounting for a staggering 32% of the country’s overall 232 Mt CO2 emissions from the energy sector. The production of building materials like cement and bricks, which makes up 50% of all industrial sector emissions, worsens the issue, he continued.

The researcher noted that coal continues to play a significant role in the industrial sector’s energy consumption (51.4%). The annual compound growth rate of coal consumption in the sector has exceeded 20% since 2016, he continued, and this trend has been accelerating.

He noted that almost 36% of the coal used in the industrial sector in Pakistan is used in the cement industry.

Ubaid added that there is a possibility for a 9% reduction in emissions in the industrial sector and that Pakistan has set a goal of limiting emissions by 50% by 2030 in accordance with its National Determined Contributions (NDCs) (climate action plan). He added that it would still be difficult to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050, particularly for the cement industry, which needs to cut its emissions by 53% by 2030.

Saleha Qureshi, an energy expert at the SDPI, told the media that the industrial sector contributes significantly to global emissions, with major industries like cement, concrete, iron and steel, oil and gas, chemicals, and mining collectively responsible for 80%.

In Pakistan, these emissions make up 6.5% of the country’s total CO2 emissions. Despite its importance, the low carbon transition in the cement sector in Pakistan faces challenges in economy due to limited fiscal space and investment.

PM expresses profound sorrow over Justice Malik Muhammad Qayyum’s passing According to her, replacing clinker with substitute materials can also aid in lowering emissions. She argued that cement production emissions can be reduced by using carbon capture, storage, and utilization technologies.

The transition, however, “doesn’t end here,” Saleha said, adding that it is also essential for stakeholders to work together and change regulatory policies in order to validate the process and create a roadmap for a sustainable future.

Syed Fawad Hussain Shah, senior assistant manager at the Centre for Industrial and Building Energy Audits, told media that the cement sector in Pakistan contributes to 45% of energy emissions and 55% of process emissions.

Thermal efficiency in the cement sector is higher than the global average, with 3.9 giga joules per ton of clinker compared to the global average of 3.4 to 3.5 giga joules. However, electrical efficiency falls short of the global average.

Fawad said the low-carbon future in the cement sector in Pakistan is due to a higher nominal clinker-to-cement ratio, a higher share of coal in the energy mix, and a low share of biomass and renewable energy.

Farooq Ahmed, Head of the Environment at Bestway Cement Limited, said the cement industry can continue to innovate, reduce its carbon footprint and move towards low-carbon economy if it gets support from the government and regulatory bodies.