Atmospheric Emissions

The most significant pollutants identified by the members of the ACMP are:

  • PM (particulate matter)
  • NOx
  • SO2

However, the ACMP recognises the importance of also addressing other significant pollutants, namely emissions of CO2, selected metals and organic emissions.

The members of the ACMP have been able to achieve a reduction in the emissions of key pollutants, over the previous three decades, largely as a result of modernization of cement plants with improved technology and design. This has been achieved through retrofitting older plants with abatement technology and by building new, cleaner plants.

As improvement from our previous report, our members have contributed to reporting of emissions resulting from production processes. In this instance, members have reported on the emissions indicated by the WBCSD-CSI as the main pollutants in the industry, being particulate matter or dust, SO2, and NOX. Three members reported data for the 2011 period (thus not included below), whilst 4 members reported emissions for the years of 2012 and 2013, as portrayed in the graphs below. 

Table 1: ACMP Air Emissions

The industry’s most significant emissions per tonne of clinker produced reduced in the last year of this reporting period. In 2013, the ACMP figures for kg Particulate Matter per tonne of clinker are lower than the World Bank guideline value (as indicated in the Pollution Prevention and Abatement Handbook by the World Bank). This improvement was in response to the minimum emission standards published in terms of section 21 of the National Environmental Management: Air Quality Act (NEM AQA) and our members are committed to continued improvement to reduce emissions produced by the industry. Reductions in emissions were achieved through shifts to more efficient plants, investment and upgrades of abatement equipment.