- Construction of kiln 9 line is under way at Slurry. This upgrade is part of our commitments in the postponement application approved in 2015 by the Department of Environment Affairs (DEA). The new facility will comply with 2020 minimum emission standards
- PPC De Hoek finishing mill bag filter upgrade completed, with dust emissions below 10 mg/Nm3
- PPC successfully submitted its emission data for 2015 to the National Emission Inventory System (NAEIS)
- Fugitive dust-extraction system commissioned for clinker offloading at Bulawayo milling facility
- Tree nursery established in DRC for rehabilitation of factory and mining site, with almost 3 000 trees planted on site
- PPCPortElizabethgrantedauthorisationtoupgradefacility in line with postponement application to DEA
- Successful fuel replacement programme using tyre-derived oil at Hercules plant.
- Three National Environmental Management Act (NEMA) section 30 reports submitted to DEA: NOx emissions exceedance at Dwaalboom, dust emissions exceedance at PPC Lime, and flooding of vehicle garage at Hercules contaminating storm water.
PPC environmental vision and policyPPC Ltd believes in operating a sustainable business and we are committed to reducing the environmental impact of our operations while continually improving environmental performance. We ensure that sustainability forms an integral part of our business strategy while we strive to minimise or eliminate negative impacts and maximise positive impacts.
We encourage all our customers, suppliers and business associates to meet similar environmental goals.PPC is committed to:
- Integrating environmental management into management practices throughout the group
- Implementing our environmental best practices to reduce adverse environmental impacts of our operations and, where practical, prevent pollution
- Achieve continual environmental improvement by identifying significant environmental aspects and setting objectives and targets while reviewing environmental performance of our workplace and surrounding environment
- Ensure compliance to environmental legislation and other requirements to which PPC subscribes
- Responsible stewardship by managing natural resources through efficient energy strategies and implementing waste reduction and recycling where possible
- Achieve effective and transparent communication with our stakeholders through internal communiqués and environmental management stakeholder forums
- Train and educate our employees in environmental responsibilities and build capacity among our stakeholders to identify, report and act on opportunities to minimise environmental impacts
- Manage our land through concurrent rehabilitation and maintaining biodiversity
- Taking ownership of, and participating in, environmental management programmes and initiatives
- Integrating environmental concerns into everyday practice
Significant environmental issuesBased on stakeholder engagement, internal and external factors that affect the company as well as legal obligations, PPC has identified its significant environmental issues for 2017.
ComplianceThe changing legislative framework and carbon tax
The global regulatory environment on climate-change mitigation is evolving. In South Africa, the government is developing carbon tax legislation, allocating carbon budgets and implementing other measures to transition to a lower-carbon economy. A process is under way to allocate appropriate carbon budgets to individual companies, which will be expected to develop pollution prevention plans to meet these budgets. Currently, the carbon-budgeting process is a voluntary initiative to which PPC has agreed and a budget proposal has been submitted to DEA for consideration.
The DEA published financial provision regulations in November 2015. PPC is evaluating these to understand the impact on its South Africa mining operations. Our international operations manage compliance against international standards in areas where legislation is not yet fully developed.Compliance management
To ensure compliance across the group, we use a combination of targeted internal audits, legal registers, external legal auditing and external permit-compliance audits. PPC operations use the environmental management systems approach to identify operational risks and manage these to ensure continual improvement and environmental compliance.
All our South African cement operations are certified ISO 14001 by independent certification body, SABS, our lime facility is certified by Dekra and our aggregates facilities are affiliated to ASPASA (Aggregate and Sand Producer Association of South Africa) which follows the ISO 14001 framework. No major findings were recorded in the reporting period.
Our international operations are aligned to the requirements of the International Finance Corporation and other lender institutions and committed to implementing their environmental and social undertakings.
To track and maintain environmental compliance, we have developed environmental legal registers linked to environmental management systems. These are audited every two years. These systems are being extended to other international business.
To improve the effectiveness of environmental management practices across the business, PPC is developing a management framework that responds to the nature and scale of our various operations. The framework will be finalised in 2016 and implemented during 2017.
Air quality managementPoint sources
Cement and lime manufacturing releases emissions such as dust, sulphur dioxide (SO2), and oxides of nitrogen (NOX). In our South African operations, all point sources are monitored continuously for these emissions, except at Port Elizabeth where kiln gases are monitored with a portable analyser. Our objective is to ensure that all operations, including international, are continuously monitored by 2017.
We monitor the year-on-year performance of our South African cement kilns, in line with our programme to comply with minimum emission standards. PPC Lime operations are now included in this report.
Direct comparisons for different reporting periods (six months versus 12 months) are not necessarily representative of developing trends; however, it seems that both dust and NOX emissions are lower while SO2 rose primarily due to higher emissions from PPC Lime and an increase in SO2 due to pyritic material in De Hoek’s new quarry.
Air quality upgrades
PPC completed its De Hoek finishing mill bag-filter upgrade, at a cost of R22 million, resulting in dust emissions of less than 10 mg/Nm3.
PPC Port Elizabeth has been granted authorisation to upgrade its kiln line and finishing mill to meet 2020 minimum emission standards. The finishing mill filter upgrade was completed in May 2016.
Environmental management inspectorate
PPC’s SA operations had no formal compliance inspections in the reporting period, but a number of ad hoc visits were undertaken by provincial and local authorities. At our DRC construction site, a number of inspections indicated non-compliance for rehabilitation provision and waste management. Appropriate plans were developed and communicated to the authorities and the financial provision non-compliance has already been successfully resolved.
Subsequent to the order issued by the Environmental Management Agency in Zimbabwe at our Bulawayo factory, PPC Zimbabwe has successfully installed and commissioned a fugitive dust-extraction system for clinker offloading.
Three NEMA section 30 incidents were reported to the authorities. At PPC Lime, we recorded excessive dust emissions after a premature failure of a large number of filter bags. At our Dwaalboom operation, DK2 nitrogen dioxide emissions exceeded the limit for more than two days, which is a reportable incident. At Hercules, water entered the washbay after a flash flood and contaminated the stormwater with hydrocarbons. The necessary clean-up was done and reports sent to the relevant authorities.
PPC’s mine rehabilitation is on track, with 95% of disturbed land restored. Areas with high potential for agriculture are leased to local farmers for commercial farming. The wind farm at Grassridge, owned by Innowind, provides for innovative sustainable end use of our mining property.
Case StudyPPC Barnet nursery project, DRC
PPC Barnet established an on-site nursery to propagate predominantly endangered tree species – Kambala (Melisia exalta) and Limba (Terminalia Superba) – to reforest disturbed areas. The nursery is also used as temporary storage for rare species relocated due to construction and mining activities.
The project site area has been degraded from its natural form as local communities have removed all sizeable wood and burned the grass each year. Surrounding areas are in the same condition and do not support any substantial grazing for domestic animals. There is also no significant wildlife present in the area. The aim is to reconstitute forest covers in and around the project site and protect biodiversity by creating a favourable environment with seeds collected in the field by local communities and germinated in the nursery.
Work on establishing the nursery started in October 2015 and the first seedlings were produced one month later. Cumulative production to date is around 10 000 seedlings (Kambala, Limba, Acacia and Flamboyant) with almost 3 000 planted, mainly around the project site.
Further community involvement is planned to expand the nursery project. Grass and fruit trees are also propagated and used to vegetate the staff village under construction.
EnergyEskom integrated demand management (IDM) project
After implementing a load-shifting project in terms of Eskom’s IDM initiative, we have reduced the electricity cost at our Hercules and Jupiter operations by 2% over the past six months. We plan to use these systems to benefit more operations as there is still opportunity for improvement.
Carbon footprintPPC has expanded the scope of reporting on indicators to include recently acquired businesses and other regions in Africa. Given the shortened reporting period, we did not achieve our goal of rolling out indicator reporting to all business units, which has been extended into the next financial year.
The carbon intensity of finished cement has reduced to 749 kg CO2 ton. This reflects PPC’s mega-plant strategy where, regionally, the most thermally efficient kilns are prioritised to meet demand as well as Safika Cement’s continued integration into our cement business. Safika produces highly extended cements with very low carbon intensities.
Resource conservationPPC Dwaalboom – alternative corrective material
Cement clinker is produced from a raw material mix that contains mainly calcium oxide, silicon dioxide, aluminium oxide (alumina) and iron oxide in certain proportions. An alternative raw material has been introduced at Dwaalboom as a corrective material source. This is recovered from a blend of waste material from slag, then crushed, screened and blended into a useful material for PPC Dwaalboom to manufacture a more consistent quality clinker with improved process stability. Using alternative materials assists in diverting waste from landfill and supports our aim to achieve sustainable manufacturing practices and improve product quality.
Hercules energy replacementCase study:
The hot gas generator at Hercules used to supply heat to the vertical roller mill was fired with diesel. As part of our search for renewable alternatives, we tested a number of recycled oils and fuel oil from tyre pyrolysis as possible energy substitutes. These trials were successful and Hercules has now converted the hot gas generator to use a blend of recycled oil and tyre pyrolysis oil. The alternatives have calorific values in the range of diesel and these oils are delivered to site.
This project has had a significant beneficial impact on energy costs for the Hercules operation and reduced the consumption of non-renewable resources (diesel).
Based on the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s Cement Sustainability Initiative, this alternative fuel replacement project would result in an effective reduction of greenhouse gas emissions on a net emission basis.
Water managementSouthern Africa is a water-stressed region and although the cement industry is not water-intensive, PPC has a number of water management programmes in place: raising awareness; monitoring and water balances; storm water management; and water use licensing processes.
As part of our water management programme, we identify opportunities to save water and reuse where possible. The comparable period-on-period increase in municipal water consumption reflects PPC Dwaalboom’s supply line being split to the neighbouring Holfontein community. The metering has not been realigned to exclude Holfontein.
Water use licensing processPPC has obtained all necessary integrated water use licences, except for PPC Dwaalboom. Current water uses at this operation are lawful and awaiting transition into the water use licensing regime. PPC is working closely with the Department of Water and Sanitation (DWS) and the licence is expected to be issued within the next financial year.
Water managementCase study:
Slurry’s new zero-waste sewage plant
As part of the Slurry kiln 9 project, a new sewage treatment plant was built to accommodate the number of employees and contractors on site. This biological waste-water treatment plant produces no sludge and requires no permanent labour given its low maintenance requirements and very low electricity use. As an enclosed plant, it avoids unpleasant odours and offers no access for foreign material to enter the system. While its design means no waste is released, if any waste water does need to leave the system, the specifications ensure this meets the requirements of the DWS and any applicable environmental legislation.
Stormwater management at CIMERWACase study:
Through its various environmental programmes, CIMERWA is committed to implementing measures to manage its stormwater in line with industry good practice. In collaboration with the local government, CIMERWA identified an opportunity to use local women to construct stormwater management systems on the factory site. Formalised as a Tuffblock association, these women provide gardening services in addition to implementing the stormwater management system which involves making the Tuffblocks to prevent erosion and planting trees and grass to rehabilitate the area.
Stakeholder engagementThe South African Association of Cementitious Material Producers plays a pivotal role in the engagement process and ensures industry issues are addressed through legislative reform processes, for example carbon tax, desired emission reduction outcomes, carbon budgets, greenhouse gas emissions reporting and pollution prevention plans and financial provision.
PPC is committed to interacting with environmental stakeholders through various channels. We meet our stakeholders at least twice a year to update them on projects, emissions and address any issues of concern. This model has also effectively been implemented at our expansion projects (see case study below).
PPC takes sustainability to the people through stakeholder forumsCase study:
The purpose of the Club Ntemo in DRC is to address issues arising from the project, contribute to the implementation of the sustainable development plan and maximise the benefits of the project.
Club Ntemo comprises delegates from four villages in the project’s primary sphere of influence: Zamba, Nkumba, Malanga and Malanga Gare. Each village sends six people (including at least two women) designated by the chief of the village or the duke. Meetings are held once a month on rotation through the different villages. During the reporting period, six meetings were held.
Focus areas for 2017
- We will continue to implement and maintain ISO14001 standards across our operations
- We are developing an effective pollution-prevention plan for relevant sites
- After completing the DeHoek (DK1) bag filter upgrade, ourfocus shifts to optimising the benefits
- The Port Elizabeth finishing mill bag filter upgrade is expected to be complete by May 2016
- We are compiling a group waste classification to support our strategy for managing waste.