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Bulk Raw Materials Presented By: Prashant Raghavan Commercial Department, GHCL Ahmedabad
INTRODUCTION • GHCL Limited, a prime Soda Ash manufacturing unit, has a current production capacity of 8.5 Lacs Tons, one third of the nation’s installed capacity and intends to expand to 11 Lacs Tons. • 60% of variable cost is due to bulk raw materials. • Major challenge in expansion of Soda Ash capacity is sourcing of raw materials.
‘DRY LIMING’ SODA ASH PROCESS • The AKZO Nobel "Dry-liming" Soda Ash process is in principle based on the well-known (Solvay) ammonia process. The ammonia soda ash process is based on the principle of dissolving CO2 in an ammoniated brine (NaCl solution), which results in the precipitation of bicarbonates. • The precipitated bicarbonates are separated from the brine and transformed into soda ash by calcination. The AKZO "Dry-liming" process uses the burnt lime directly in the distillation, while the classical process makes first milk of lime. In this way the heat of hydration of the lime is completely used for disengaging the ammonia. This results in considerable lower steam consumption for the ammonia recovery. • The soda ash is produced from the raw materials salt (brine) and limestone, according to the overall equation: 2 NaCl + CaCO3 = Na2CO3 + CaCl2
‘DRY LIMING’ SODA ASH FLOW CHART Brine NaCl & H2O Ammoniated Brine Ammonia NH3 Limestone CaCO3 NH3 Carbonation Tower NaCl (aq) + NH3 + CO2 + H2O = NaHCO3 (s) + NH4Cl (aq) Lime Kiln CaCO3 = CaO + CO2 CO2 CaO H2O NH4Cl Ammonia Recovery Ca(OH)2 + 2NH4Cl = CaCl2 + 2H20 + 2NH3 Filter Lime Slaker CaO + H20 = Ca(OH)2 Ca(OH)2 Heat By-Product CaCl2 CO2 Product Na2CO3 Soda Ash
INTRODUCTION Major Raw materials used for manufacture of Soda Ash is Salt, Limestone and Fuel. • Salt - Common salt or halite (NaCI) occurs in massive, granular, compact, and crystalline forms. It contains 40 % sodium and 60 % chloride by weight. • Limestone - Chemical grade limestone with silica content not more than 2-3% is essentially required. Higher silica containing limestone gives considerable trouble in limekiln operation due to formation of lumps and clinkers. Higher % of carbonate is preferred for low consumption of limestone per ton of Soda Ash. Limestone required for burning in limekiln should be of uniform size between 20 – 120 mm. Limestone smaller than 20 mm tend to over burn and limestone over 120 mm remains unburnt in limekiln. • Fuel (Lignite / Coal / Coke) - Soda Ash process requires large amount of steam and power. Fuel in burnt in boiler to generate steam which is used to produce power in Turbo Generator.
SALT HARVESTING Salt Manufacturing is a process where sweet water is separated from sea water Liquor
SALT – CHALLENGES & WAY AHEAD • Major Challenges are: • Non-availability of Govt. wasteland for salt cultivation. • Salt production or yield is depended on weather conditions. • Salt production will further reduce due to development of SEZ’s / Ports along costal regions (eg. KPT land issue). • Captive - Present yield in existing leases is average 60-70 MT / Annum per Acre which is below industry standards. • In view of Soda Ash expansion, there is immediate need to enhance present salt capacities or acquire new salt farms.
LIMESTONE • Limestone is a sedimentary rock, made up mostly of the mineral calcite, a form of calcium carbonate, CaCO3. • The calcium carbonate is originally produced by living animals (such as shellfish). Later, much of it goes into solution in sea water, and then is deposited as limestone. Calcium carbonate gets precipitated when the physical condition of the water changes. For example, if the concentration of CaCO3 is high, then a temperature drop, or a pH (acidity) change, can cause precipitation.
LIMESTONE – CHALLENGES & WAY AHEAD • Major challenges are: • Present reserves in existing leases is only 11 Million MT which is sufficient for only 5-6 years. • Non-availability of land for mining. Govt. rules and regulation, Env. Clearance etc. • Due to prolonged mining, chemical grade limestone available on the surface has reduced. • In view of Soda Ash expansion, there is immediate need to enhance present limestone capacities or acquire new capacities
FUEL – CHALLENGES & WAY AHEAD • Coal • Coal is being imported from Indonesia and South Africa which is subjected to frequent price fluctuations due to global demand – supply imbalances and Rupee v/s Dollar movement. • Lignite • The estimated reserves in Gujarat are 2722 Million MT which is GMDC controlled. • Lignite blocks in India are allocated to State run corporations. Only one block is allocated to Private sector, ie. GHCL Ltd. Our lignite block reserve at Bhavnagar Dist. is just sufficient to meet demand for the next 6 to 7 years (ie. 3 Million MT). • There is huge demand-supply gap coupled with poor quality of lignite in Kutch and Bhavnagar region (i.e. Low GCV & high Sulphur respectively). Present allocation is only 14000 MT per month during dry seasons.