Waste Heat Recovery technology has been in use in the cement industry since the 1980’s when it was introduced in Japan, but global uptake has been slow. With the exception of China, this environmentally friendly alternative to fossil-fuel-based power is underutilised in the cement industry. China’s success in widespread adoption of the technology was due largely to effective tax incentives and strong national energy efficiency regulations. As of 2011, all new clinker brick lines were required to incorporate WHR technology. Early adoption was further bolstered as capital costs and installation expenses were reduced when multiple WHR suppliers entered the market. Costs were further reduced as components were locally produced and designed specifically for the Chinese market.
WHR systems have many advantages including reduced reliance on fossil fuels and purchased power sources, mitigating the effects of rising electricity costs, enhancing the plants power reliability, and reducing the carbon emission of the plant. The operating costs of cement factories and EBITDA can be reduced by up to 10%-15% with the correct installation and implementation of WHR systems.
US adoption of Waste Heat Recovery in the Cement Industry
The major barrier to introduction in the US cement market has been the initial capital costs of installation. In December 2020, the United States National Congress approved the new Consolidated Appropriations Act. This provides incentives for the installation of WHR systems and aims to reduce the carbon footprint of fossil fuel dependent industries which includes the cement industry. The Self-generation incentive Program (SGIP) provides financial incentives for the adoption of a wide range of green technologies. A 26% investment tax credit is available in the US for “Waste Energy Recovery Property” expenditure which will open the door to future projects and investments in this industry.
Opportunities in the Cement Industry
We can expect Waste Heat Recovery adoption to provide opportunities for both cement producers and skilled professionals in the cement industry, ready mix cement and aggregate fields to upskill and take advantage of the current incentives offered. Skilled engineering and finance professionals with experience in the cement industry are in demand.
If you are a qualified engineering, finance or management professional with cement, ready-mix-cement and aggregate industry experience looking for a new challenge or a cement producer looking to recruite the best candidates available to take advantage of the current market, contact the Gatesource HR Cement Recruitment Team to explore new career prospects and opportunities.