With the productive use of discarded materials throughout the cement production process, Giant Cement Company and sister company Giant Resource Recovery (GRR!) are addressing excess waste while making significant strides in reducing carbon emissions.
PCA member Giant Cement Company is taking a twofold approach to displacing traditional fossil fuels as the main source of energy for production. The cement manufacturer’s Harleyville, South Carolina, plant is using both lower-emission fuels as well as discarded materials to power its operations. The switch positions the company to meet its carbon-reduction goals earlier than projected.
On the lower-emissions front, Giant replaced coal with natural gas to lighten the environmental impact of cement production. In 2021 alone, the company replaced approximately 25,000 metric tons of coal with natural gas and reduced CO2 emissions by an estimated 26,000 metric tons —the equivalent of powering 3,277 homes for a year.
In addition to natural gas, Giant Resource Recovery (GRR!) provides discarded materials — things that would otherwise end up in landfills or simply incinerated without any corresponding environmental or energy recovery benefit — as an energy source for Giant Cement. This has the triple effect of reducing fossil fuel usage, diverting material from landfills and incineration while conserving existing natural resources.
In mid-2022, The Giant Cement Holding Inc (GCHI) companies successfully completed air emission and operations testing, allowing the plant to operate during short-term periods on 100% alternative fuels. Previously, based on 2021 data, Giant could achieve 46% energy recovery and replacement with alternative fuels over a production cycle within any given year; today, with these short-term periods at 100%, the average annual production cycle will average 70% substitution.