Cultivating a Decade of Low-Carbon Commitment

Asia Cement Sets a Century-Long Standard for Sustainability 

Stepping into the fourth-floor exhibition hall at the Nangang Exhibition Center, one can see members of the Asia Cement team tirelessly explaining, sharing their enthusiasm with both professional vendors and the general public. The journey of low-carbon cement, initially met with skepticism upon its introduction, has now garnered widespread acclaim. This transformation represents the dedication of Asia Cement's low-carbon research and development team. Chen Chih-hsien, Chief Deputy Plant Manager of Asia Cement Hualien Plant, remarked, 'Asia Cement has been on this path for over a decade!' 

 Chen Chih-hsien's graying curly hair is the evidence of his thirty-three years of dedication at Asia Cement. Initially in the research lab, he immersed himself in daily tasks, focusing on product development, conducting tests on the physicochemical properties of cement and concrete, implementing ISO systems, and more. Now serving as Chief Deputy Plant Manager, he leads the research and development team in consistently pushing the boundaries of circular economy technology and the carbon reduction ratio of low-carbon cement. Chen Chih-hsien emphasized that, through numerous experiments and adjustments, the team finds the greatest aspiration when they witness a gradual decrease in carbon dioxide content while ensuring product quality. 

 Team member Wang Chih-chi, showing a shy expression, forwent an opportunity at TSMC to return to his hometown, Hualien, and join Asia Cement as the company endeavored to fully develop low-carbon cement. 'One of the most effective ways to reduce carbon emissions in cement is to decrease the amount of clinker, which emits the highest carbon. ' Wang Chih-chi mentioned. Focusing on limestone addition ratios, the team successfully introduced low-carbon cement with properties comparable to traditional cement while achieving a 12% carbon reduction after designing and testing over a dozen formulations. However, Wang emphasized that gaining customer trust still relies on close communication and comprehensive testing. 'Gaining customers’ confidence is a sense of achievement that words cannot adequately describe. '

 Chan Chung-jung, the 'big brother' in the team, returned to his hometown Hualien, after leaving his position at an American semiconductor packaging and test plant. Currently serving as the Chief officer of the Manufacturing Division at the Hualien Plant, he is tasked with developing circular economy technologies. Chan Chung-jung explained, 'Asia Cement has forged connections across various public and private sectors and industries, transforming itself into an integral part of the ecosystem for waste recycling.' In 2022 alone, Asia Cement achieved a reduction of approximately 95,000 tons of carbon emissions by substituting circular economy materials for natural resources, thereby meeting the SBTi carbon reduction target. 

Asia Cement is progressively exploring Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) and the lab supervisor Tseng Yu-chung is leading the efforts. Wearing black-framed glasses, Tseng brings a background in mining, chemical engineering, and materials engineering to the table. Tseng believes that CCU utilization is the last mile in carbon reduction for the cement industry, even though there is ongoing debate on the technical front. Asia Cement has launched the 'Development of Carbon Sequestration Technology for Industrial Waste' project, which incorporates principles of the circular economy, and leverages the abundant calcium oxide in alternative materials. The project aims to produce aggregates with negative carbon value, replacing traditional aggregates used by ready-mixed concrete plants. The testing of the project is anticipated to conclude by the end of next year, and Tseng Yu-chung is confident that the 'final results will be truly uplifting.’

This R&D team at Asia Cement, with an average age of forty, has overcome various challenges and laid a solid foundation for the development of low-carbon cement. Chen Chih-hsien reiterated that, amidst the wave of sustainability, Asia Cement will continue its innovative steps towards carbon neutrality.