Rock Products

NOV 2014

Rock Products is the aggregates industry's leading source for market analysis and technology solutions, delivering critical content focusing on aggregates-processing equipment; operational efficiencies; management best practices; comprehensive market

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ROCK products • NOVEMBER 2014 52 Central America and the Caribbean have seen substantial improvements and satisfying results in terms of growth in revenues, reaching $417 million, about 22 percent more than what was obtained during the same period last year. The regional divi‐ sion's outstanding performance stems mainly from the results of its Honduran and Panamanian opera‐ tions, which continue to be the most important markets for the company. In Colombia, the market shows signs of healthy growth, with Argos main‐ taining its position as market leader, with increases of 3 percent and 5 percent in dispatched cement and concrete volumes, respectively. Addi‐ tionally, the recent decisions of the Na‐ tional Government regarding budget allocations for infrastructure, housing and education will ensure the contin‐ uation of the dynamism that the com‐ pany has seen in the country's construction sector. Argos ended the third quarter with an increase of 69 percent in its ac‐ cumulated net profit, when com‐ pared to the one registered in the first nine months of last year. Other noteworthy facts are the an‐ nouncements of the 2.3‐million‐ton ex‐ pansion at the Sogamoso plant (Colombia), the 900,000‐ton enlarge‐ ment in the department of Antioquia (Colombia) and the new mill at the Harleyville plant in South Carolina. All of these initiatives will improve Argos' future operational efficiency. The company's year‐to‐date EBITDA rose about 8 percent, to $415 mil‐ lion. This result can be explained mainly by the positive performance of the U.S. Regional Division and the successful consolidation of the re‐ cently acquired assets in Florida, Honduras and French Guiana. Regarding the quarterly results, Argos CEO Jorge Mario Velásquez said, "We have been operating ever more effi‐ ciently and sustainably, with ambitious expansion projects that will allow us to capitalize on the growth opportunities that we see in the upward and dynamic markets in which we participate. On the other hand, the good results of our re‐ cent acquisitions strengthen our strat‐ egy and contribute to the company's performance." Products Industrial Technology Research Insti‐ tute (ITRI), Taiwan's largest and one of the world's leading, high‐tech applied research institutions, introduced High Efficiency Calcium Looping Technol‐ ogy (HECLOT), a calcium looping tech‐ nology developed to reduce carbon emissions from fossil power plants. It is the first affordable and energy‐effi‐ cient solution to achieve a CO 2 capture rate of up to 90 percent. It reduces en‐ ergy consumption using a cycling of calcination and carbonation method used to capture CO 2 , which ultimately enables coal‐fired power generation to become clean electricity. HECLOT is able to achieve an initial capture cost lower than $30 per tonne of CO 2 in a fossil fuel power plant, saving more than half when compared to current capture costs of $58 per tonne. "In 2014, the months of May, June and August were the warmest of any on record in the United States. In the bat‐ tle against global warming, HECLOT can play a significant role," said Heng‐ Wen Hsu, ITRI's deputy division direc‐ tor, Green Energy and Environment Research Laboratories. "It is the most effective and affordable CO 2 capture technology available today and has the potential to estimate 10 percent of the global CCS market in the initial phase and can contribute even more signifi‐ cant capture in the future. It will allow for more rapid adoption of CCS solu‐ tions and can expedite the implemen‐ tation of low carbon policies to help confront the issues surrounding cli‐ mate change." The capital cost of a HECLOT power plant is $125 million for a 50 MWe unit, much less than the current cost of around $5 billion for existing CO 2 capture technology, according to the organization. This will make it eas‐ ier to raise capital for HECLOT power plants, which would result in a higher and faster financial return on investment. HECLOT can also be integrated into retrofitted plants. Additionally, HECLOT will allow CO 2 to be injected underground for Enhanced Oil Recovery (EOR) and Enhanced Gas Recovery (EGR), allowing plants to generate more oil and gas, leading to additional green energy and jobs. HECLOT captures CO 2 in the combus‐ tion fume coming out of power plant boilers. It uses calcium from lime‐ stone (CaCO 3 ) as the carbon capture medium. Calcium is looped between two chemical reactions involving CaO and CaCO 3 to capture and release CO 2 . In the capture, or carbonation reaction, calcium in CaO captures CO 2 and becomes CaCO 3 . In the second re‐ action, the so‐called calcination reac‐ tion, CaCO 3 is reduced back to CaO, and CO 2 absorbed in the first reaction is released at high purity in the sec‐ Carbon Capture

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