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UltraTech pioneers coastal waterway transport to address environmental challenges of phosphogypsum stockpile

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UltraTech pioneers coastal waterway transport

UltraTech Cement Limited, the cement flagship firm of Aditya Birla Group (ABG), has used interior and coastal waterways to carry phosphogypsum shipment in a first-of-its-kind project in India.

On April 26, 2023, a shipment of 57,000 metric tons (MT) of phosphogypsum was brought in a bulk cargo carrier from Odisha’s Paradeep port to the jetty of UltraTech Cement’s integrated cement factory, Gujarat Cement Works (GCW), located in Kovaya in Gujarat’s Amreli district.

UltraTech, India’s largest cement and ready-mix concrete (RMC) manufacturer, has institutionalized ABG’s sustainability framework in its efforts to promote sustainability across the value chain of its operations. UltraTech’s primary emphasis area for sustainability is the circular economy.

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Mr. K C Jhanwar, Managing Director of UltraTech Cement Limited, stated, “The cement industry plays a pivotal role in driving the circular economy in India through the use of industrial and municipal waste in cement manufacturing.” This industry-first initiative by UltraTech to transport phosphogypsum over interior and coastal waterways would assist to increase the cement sector’s role in creating the circular economy in India.”

UltraTech obtained the phosphogypsum from Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) and Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL).

The phosphogypsum was obtained from Indian Farmers Fertiliser Cooperative Limited (IFFCO) and Paradeep Phosphates Limited (PPL). Phosphogypsum is produced as a byproduct of phosphatic fertilizer facilities.

Improving the Circular Economy

The cement sector is essential to India’s circular economy framework. The utilization of huge amounts of industrial and municipal waste in cement making helps to significantly reduce landfill load as well as possible greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from conventional waste disposal methods such as incineration.

The legacy phosphogypsum supply in India is estimated to be over 70 million metric tons (MMT). Given that total cement output in India was 400 MMT in FY23, the cement industry has the capacity to consume around 16 MMT of phosphogypsum yearly.

UltraTech’s pioneering endeavor to carry phosphogypsum across interior and coastal rivers has proved the use of a ‘Multimodal Supply Chain’ as a cost-effective and safe transportation alternative that other cement producers may duplicate. The use of phosphogypsum, a byproduct of the fertilizer industry, as an alternative material in cement making would assist lessen the country’s reliance on mineral gypsum mining. This would also save India money because mineral gypsum is mostly imported. UltraTech will continue to exist.