firing in a VSBK
Brick is the major construction material used
in India. The Indian brick industry is an unorganised sector with
majority of the brick kiln units located as clusters in rural
and peri-urban areas. Estimated to produce 140 billion bricks
from about 100 000 brick kiln units, brick industry consumes
more than 20 million tonnes of coal as well as huge quantity of
biomass fuels. It is also a labour intensive industry providing
employment to 8-10 million (80 to 100 lakh) workers in various stages
of brick production (moulding, loading of bricks in the kiln, firing,
Diagnostic studies and project strategy
The diagnostic studies in brick kilns carried out during 1995 indicated
high specific energy consumption and high level of pollution in
the brick industry. There was large scope for energy efficiency
improvements through adoption of energy efficient and environment
friendly technologies and BOP (best operating practises).
A VSBK site
With techno-social integration becoming
core of the project intervention, TERI started focusing on dissemination
of VSBK (vertical shaft brick kiln) to promote sustainable livelihood
options among small brick makers. Through various training programs
and awareness seminars, it is also involved in creating awareness
and developing skills among various stakeholders (firemen, supervisors,
and brick kiln owners) on BOP in BTKs (bull’s trench kilns)
with close involvement of local brick industry associations.
|A cluster-level meeting
on ‘Energy efficiency improvements in the brick industry’
was organized in Agartala, Tripura on 18 June 2010 by TERI and Tripura
State Council of Science and Technology (TSCST) under the UNDP–GEF
project, which aims to increase energy efficiency in the Indian brick
industry. TERI is a ‘Responsible Partner’ for implementing
the project, and TSCST is the local resource centre (LRC) for the
northeastern region. The event was attended by about 30 brick entrepreneurs
from the region. The meeting was chaired by Mr Joy Gobinda Debray,
Minister of Science, Technology, and Environment (STE), Government
of Tripura, and Mr Sriram Taranikanti, Commissioner and Secretary,
STE was the special guest.
TERI highlighted the difficulties faced by the traditional brick
kiln units, which continue to depend on largely manual technologies
to make resource-intensive fireclay bricks, even as skilled labour
is becoming scarce. In this situation, there is a need as well as
an opportunity for brick entrepreneurs to switch over to making
REBs, which offer numerous benefits in the form of energy savings
of up to 20%, reduced consumption of topsoil (about 30%), superior
quality of fired products, reduction in construction costs (5%–7%),
and reduced cooling/heating load requirements (close to 5%).
Under the project, TERI could assist entrepreneurs in switching
over to REB production by facilitating demonstrations of REB technology,
building capacities of workers/ operators in the new technologies,
developing linkages with banks and other financial institutions,
and creating and expanding markets for the new/improved products.
Mr Bijan Saha, Branch Manager, North Eastern Development Finance
Corporation (NEDFI) described the range of financial services offered
by NEDFI to support the expansion, modernization, and diversification
of existing SME units as well as to fund new projects. Notably,
NEDFI provides financial support for exposure visits and skills
upgradation under its ‘Scheme for development of entrepreneurial
skills and market for North East products’.
Mr A K Bannerjee of Walter Craven Ceramic Products Ltd, Kolkata—a
leading supplier of REB technology—spoke on various machineries
and equipment used in REB manufacture. He further elaborated on
the characteristics and applications of different REB products.
The event concluded with a lively discussion among the participants
on various aspects of REB technology and the opportunities that
exist for entrepreneurs in the North East.