Coal India Ltd (CIL), witnessed a 6% drop in production at around 241 million tonnesduring April-September and is hopeful of regaining its production tempo in theremaining part of the year.
CIL’s coal offtake was down around 5% to 276 million tonnes during April-September2019 compared to the same period last year. This year, the monsoon severely dentedproduction, especially in September, inundating mines, said a senior official at CIL.
For the financial year 2019-20, Coal India is envisaging an 8.5% growth in productionat around 660 million tonnes, says its MoU with the Coal Ministry. CIL had registered7% growth in production at 606.89 million tonnes in 2018-19, around 3 million tonnesshort of its planned target of 610 million tonnes last fiscal. Coal stock at power plants ason September 30, 2019, stood around 17.3 million tonnes, which is 6.3 million tonnesmore as compared to the same period last year.
Even as the auto industry clamours for fiscal relief in the form of a GST rate cut, truck operators say there is no real benefit from such a move. GST reduction, according them, is akin to giving vitamins to a sector that is desperately in need of a lifeline. There has been a call to cut the GST rate from 28% to 18% for trucks to jump-start demand.
A slowdown in infrastructure and real estate projects has weighed on demand forconstruction equipment. After three years of consecutive growth in volumes, sales ofsuch equipment including excavators and backhoe loaders, have been affected sincethe crisis at IL&FS (infrastructure and leasing Financial Services) broke. It is expectedto end this calendar year with a decline of 15-18%, the sharpest in many years.
CARE Ratings expects the overall pace of road construction to slow down to about 26-27 km per day during FY2019-20 (April to March) owing to slow down in pace ofawards, limited budgetary support, high risk aversion of public sector banks toinfrastructure projects, worsened liquidity position of NBFCs and disruption inconstruction activity during monsoon and high cost of land acquisition.ICRA has revised the outlook on the Construction Equipment (CE) sector to Negative.
Demand headwinds are likely to continue in the near-term unless there is a coursecorrection by the public sector.
The residential real estate sector in the national capital and its satellite towns fell 22% quarter-on-quarter (Q-o-Q) to 9,830 units during Q3 2019 calendar year (CY) on account of a subdued buyers’ market due to ban on subvention schemes, coupled with monsoon rains and the inauspicious period of Shradh.
According to a ports’ body, Coal shipments handled by India’s 12 major state-run portsduring April-September rose by 15.25% to 29.29 million tonne, The state-run ports hadhandled 25.41million tonnes of coking coal cargo in the corresponding period of theprevious fiscal. Shipments of thermal or steam coal, however, declined by 13.20% to44.87 million tonne, the Indian Ports Association (IPA) data showed. The IPA saidthese ports handled 51.69 million tonnes of thermal coal in the April-September periodof the previous fiscal.
According to ICRA, the country’s overall thermal coal import is likely to cross 200million tonnes mark in 2019-20. As per report the Coal India’s production might fallshort of its 2019-20 target of 660 million tonnes by around 55-75 million tonnes. CoalIndia accounts for over 80% of the country’s domestic coal requirement. Overall, the 12major ports recorded a marginal 1.48% upswing in cargo handling at 348.44 milliontonnes in April-September this fiscal against 343.37 million tonnes in the year-agoperiod.
The cement industry’s effort to generate fuel from pharma waste has immensepotential. Using pharma waste along with other waste in cement kilns, or co-processingas it is called, during cement manufacturing, has proved to be a good fit. And since the1970s, Europe, the US, Japan, Canada and Australia have successfully co-processeddifferent kinds of waste as alternative fuels and raw materials (AFR) in cement kilns.
The cement industry in India, the second largest in the world, too warmed up to theidea some years ago and currently uses almost 75 million tonnes of waste asreplacement for raw materials and fuels in factories across the country. This includessome units that use pharma waste and have proved the enormous potential it throwsup for a larger tie-up between the two sectors.
Last fortnight, case studies brought out at the Cement Manufacturers Association’sfourth conference on “Alternate Fuel and Raw Materials in Cement Industry – Conserve2019” in New Delhi, flagged some of these projects. Pertinent among them wereexamples of pharma waste being used for AFR.
In one of the case studies, author ASC Bose of India Cements Ltd described the effortof its Malkapur Works, 120 km from Hyderabad. As Hyderabad is a growing hub for thepharma industry, the possibility of using pharma waste as AFR was explored. SinceDecember 2016, the company has managed to co-process 11,793 MT of pharmawaste at its unit. It used pharma’s high calorific value waste such as organic residue,liquid and solid organic spent solvents, spent carbon whose use as alternate fuel hasbeen proven and permitted after the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) ran trialruns.
To utilise the waste, India Cements installed a dedicated AFR Solvent firing feedingsystem. This is a 30kl capacity organic solvent tank where the liquid waste is unloadedand pumped through a main burner at the rotary kiln outlet to ensure completedestruction of AFR.
Simultaneously, the solid waste from the pharma industry is stored in a 500 MTcapacity shed. Later it is mixed to uniform mixture and is conveyed through closed belt conveyor system for feeding the calciner. Bose points out that the calorific value of AFRreceived from pharma waste varies between 2500 kcal per kg to 3500 kcal per kg andhas resulted in reduced coal consumption. Another case study is by M Laxmaiah and RV Krishna Kumar of My Home Industries Private Ltd. (MHIPL). At its MellacheruvuCement Works in Telangana it initiated co-processing of pharma liquid waste as athermal substitution. In 2012, with the support of FL Smith, Denmark, it installed an AFLhandling system which includes unloading, storage and pumping of pharma liquidwaste in cement kilns. Over the years the thermal substitution rate has scaled up to2.58%, with the company targeting 5%.
These two examples go to show the potential of pharma waste as fuel, something that has been emphasised by the CPCB when it set the guidelines for co-processing in 2010. It called the utilisation of hazardous wastes for co-processing a win–win situation.