World Cement Association (WCA) President Song Zhiping urged the global cement industry to continue efforts toward carbon neutrality, but also to advance digitalization, in a keynote speech at the WCA Open Day earlier this month.
He identified two overriding priorities for the industry, with the first being carbon neutrality. As Song Zhiping explained, CO2 emissions can be reduced through three key measures: reducing clinker factor, and decreasing fuel and power consumption.
“I call on cement plants in all countries and regions, all WCA members including cement manufacturers, design and research institutes to make joint actions to reduce carbon emissions. The task is challenging, but I am confident that we can do it well,” he said.
With regards to decarbonization, Song Zhiping drew attention to WCA member Anhui Conch, which has installed CCUS facilities at its Baimashan plant near the Yangtze river in eastern China. The project separates and purifies 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide a year, which Conch then sells to industrial consumers.
As a second industry priority, Song Zhiping emphasized the importance of boosting the application of digital technologies. “Thanks to the ongoing technological progress, the cement industry has transited from automation to digitalization. Application of digital and smart technologies has helped to decrease manpower, make operation more accurate, improve quality and lower costs.”
As an example, he highlighted CNBM’s operations in Tai’an, Zunyi and Zhejiang, China, where the company has applied new technologies that contribute to CO2 emissions reductions for three newly built lines. He also noted that digitalization has transformed sales, by increasingly going online, which demonstrates that the cement industry is in step with the global digitalization trend.
Watch Song Zhiping’s WCA Open Day speech below: