A green cement challenge for Australian cement producers

This week Hallett Group announced a 125 million Australian dollar (US$84.3 million) project to replace approximately 6 million tonnes of imported clinker and cement with Supplementary Cementitious Materials (SCM) from a new manufacturing plant based in Port Augusta and a green products import and export distribution center in Port Adelaide. cement.

The operation is expected to reduce CO2 emissions initially by 300,000 t from June 2024, then by 1 Mt as it expands the following year. The Port Augusta manufacturing site will receive the granulated slag offtake from the Nyrstar Port Pirie metals smelter and the Liberty Whyalla steelworks, subject to successful material assessment, as well as fly ash from the former power station of Port Augusta. The Port Augusta plant is expected to supply 30 Mt of SCM over the next 20 years and beyond. A separate import and export distribution center will be built in Port Adelaide and completed in May 2023. The overall green cement processing project is receiving federal funding of A$20 million and will be powered by energy sources solar and wind.

The shift to green cement in Australia
Hallett’s green cement transformation project is described by the group’s CEO, Mark Pickard, as a direct challenge to Australia’s long-established cement market structure. It follows Fortescue Metals Group’s entry into the Australian green cement market in 2021 using waste from green iron processes.

Traditional cement suppliers have already sought to tap into the demand for green cement products. Boral spun off its North American fly ash business in 2021, but its Australian low-carbon concrete products use ground granulated blast furnace slag (GGBS) and fly ash with ENVISA®its main SCM concrete, which replaces 50% of the cement.

Boral is investing AUD 130 million in the construction of a crushing plant at the port of Geelong. The 1.3 Mta grinding plant is linked to the Quai de Lascelles by a conveyor system for the production of cementitious products. Ahrens built the 6000m2 clinker storage building in the new facility. The company’s fly ash supply chain avoided approximately 5.2 Mt of CO2 emissions in 2018 and it targeted 1.1 to 1.5 Mt of additional CO2 Avoidance of emissions by 2022 by increasing fly ash supply from 1.5 to 2 Mt.

Meanwhile, Adbri is Australia’s largest importer of cementitious materials. In its 2021 annual report, the company targeted a 24% replacement of SCM as a proportion of end sales of cementitious products. Adbri is targeting overall cement sales of 36% by 2030, up from a 2020 baseline of 21%. Australian industry by 84% in 2020, according to Adbri.

In addition, Adbri and Cockburn Cement are currently upgrading the Kwinana bulk terminal with a slag feed system and a modern ball mill circuit with two cement mills for slag and clinker grinding. The AUD 199 million project is expected to be completed in mid-2023.

Another leading producer, Cement Australia (Holcim Group and HeidelbergCement), reduces its CO emissions2 by creating GreenCem, a patent-pending low embodied carbon concrete powder admixture that can replace up to 80% of cement with fly ash and/or slag.

Wagners opted for a general mix GBF (FAB) Portland cement with 25% fly ash which is primarily used in road construction projects. Its HSC Portland cement blends incorporate Portland cement with GGBS, which is 60% granulated blast furnace slag and 25% blended slag.

Meanwhile, BGC Cement is merging its two manufacturing sites at Canning Vale and Naval Base to create a single production facility at Naval Base. The capacity of the cement plant will be 1.2 Mta and will include a new mixing plant and a new bagging plant. The AUD 12.19 million project will also see the production of Ultra Creme white cement, a distribution center in Kalgoorlie and a new laboratory in Hazlemere.

Australia has a clinker production capacity of around 5.6 Mta (2018-19), but producers are increasingly turning to “greener” blended cements produced with SCMs, which accounted for 11.5 Mt of cement sales in 2018-19, according to the cement industry. Federation. Existing manufacturers are upgrading their production sites or building new facilities for increased distribution of green cements. With new entrants increasing competition in response to demand, this is an area where substantial growth can be expected over the next decade. Customers are demanding low-emission cement and concrete and cement producers are looking to reduce import costs by using reduced clinker volumes. Producers are also looking to source raw materials sustainably to provide low embodied carbon value cementitious products.

The June 2022 issue of ICR featured an article by Adbri about its slag cement production “Building a better Australia”.

Published under Cement News

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