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14 Sep 2009

The Kolkata-based Tea Board has initiated methods to reduce manufacturing cost and thereby increase productivity to ensure that key segments of the business like processing remain profitable even in a down-turn.

The need to focus on productivity improvement was stressed at the 116th annual conference of the United Planters’ Association of Southern India (Upasi) recently.

Measures include usage of modern electrical equipment and low-wattage lighting. “We have identified 100 factories in Tamilnadu to begin the energy audit-the first step in initiating”, said Mr R D Nazeem, executive director of tea board.

“While energy consumption accounts for 15% to 20% of the total cost in tea manufacturing, ECPs are expected to bring it down energy costs by at least 30%,” Prof R Sethumadhavan, professor of mechanical engineering at Chennai’s Anna University.

Besides the obvious cost advantage, adoption of ECPs also lend a hand in conserving the environment by replacing wood-fired kilns with briquettes made from saw dust, cow dung and pellets.

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