Giant Cement Makes Significant Strides in Lowering Emissions

The Portland Cement Association (PCA) recently highlighted how member company Giant Cement is taking a two-fold approach to displacing traditional fossil fuels as the main source of energy for production.

Giant’s Harleyville, S.C., cement plant is using both lower-emission fuels as well as discarded materials to power its operations. The switch, PCA noted, positions the company to meet its carbon-reduction goals earlier than projected.

On the lower-emissions front, Giant replaced coal with natural gas to lighten the environmental impact of cement production. In 2021 alone, the producer replaced 25,000 metric tons of coal with natural gas and reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 26,000 metric tons.

In addition to natural gas, sister company Giant Resource Recovery (GRR!) provides waste materials as an energy source. This has the triple effect of reducing fossil fuel usage, diverting material from landfills and incineration while conserving existing natural resources.

Last year, air emission and operations testing was completed to allow the Harleyville plant to operate during short-term periods on 100% alternative fuels. The company estimates with these short-term periods, an average annual production cycle will average 70% substitution.

“We are committed to the industry-wide goals set by PCA to reach carbon neutrality, and are doing so by investing in the technology and practices to bring us closer to this goal,” said Tim Kuebler, president and CEO of Giant Cement Holding Inc. “We are proud of the projects we have set in place to lower our emissions at Giant. These projects are just the beginning, showing that the industry can meet climate goals and provide examples and insights for other manufacturers.”

PCA said that Giant’s use of alternative fuels and focus on incorporating recycled, decarbonated materials to produce lower-carbon cement are necessary steps for producers following its Roadmap to Carbon Neutrality. 

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