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India’s steel and cement sectors need $627 billion additional capex to decarbonise: report

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New Delhi: India’s steel and cement industries will require a whopping Rs 47 lakh crore ($627 billion) in additional capital expenditure (capex) to achieve net-zero carbon emissions, as per a report released by Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) on Thursday.

India is among the top producers of steel and cement in the world.

The CEEW studies pointed out that the two sectors would need Rs 1 lakh crore each year in additional operational expenditure (OPEX) to go net-zero.

Funded by energy major bp, the studies also found that an 8-25% reduction in steel emissions and 32% reduction in cement emissions is possible without any price increase by adopting efficient technologies such as waste-heat recovery and energy efficient drives and controls.

“Moreover, a 33 per cent reduction in the combined carbon emissions of the steel and cement industries could be achieved with just 8.5 per cent of the total additional CAPEX and 30 per cent of the additional annual OPEX,” CEEW said in a statement.

Dr Arunabha Ghosh, CEO, CEEW,said that decarbonising India’s steel and cement industries will not only help it meet its climate ambitions but also make its industries market competitive and future-ready in a world with increasingly sustainability-driven regulations.

In order to achieve a net-zero steel and cement industry, the CEEW studies have recommended the use of the best available energy-efficient technologies to reduce emissions at lower costs since all the energy efficiency measures are already commercially available.

“Further, incentivise renewable energy as it will play a pivotal role in decarbonisation through lower or no transmission charges at the central and state levels. The Government of India should develop a policy for and expedite the establishment of a CCUS (carbon capture, utilisation, and storage) ecosystem to abate more than half of the emissions from the existing steel and cement plants.

Since hydrogen will play a key role in its implementation, the next phase of the National Green Hydrogen Mission should focus on this agenda,” the CEEW studies suggested.

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