Manufacture of carbon black leads to the production of environmentally-unfriendly gases. Previously, the Company had to incinerate or flare up the gas, which involved a cost. With the Electricity Act 2003 permitting the sale of excess power generated by industries, PCBL commissioned power generation units at each of its facilities. Related energy saving and environmental benefits were the main drivers for this initiative. As such, PCBL is the first carbon black company in the world to receive carbon credits from UNFCCC for its Captive Power Plant at Baroda.
The power generation process involves recovery and utilisation of the thermal energy of the process waste gas (i.e. tail gas) being produced from carbon black manufacturing process. This waste heat/ gas is utilised to generate steam which in turn is used to generate electrical energy.
Value Chain: Turning Waste into Electricity
The excess electricity available after meeting the in-house power demand is exported to the State Electricity Board grid. In a country dependant on a fast depleting natural resource like coal for a large part of its power generation, this results in positive contribution to sustainable economic growth, conservation of natural resources, environment and Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emission reduction.
PCBL currently has 76MW of power generation capacity. The increasing presence of the power business in PCBL’s revenue profile is likely to provide a cushion to the overall profitability.