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Promoting energy conservation in tea processing units in southern India


Southern India


UNDP, TIDE and Tea Board


February 2008–January 2012


India is one of the largest tea producers in the world.In 2008, the country produced 980 million kilograms of tea, of which southern India contributed 246
million kilos (24%). Southern India is home to about 350 tea factories, of which 125 fall in the small-scale sector. Tea production is an energy-intensive process, with energy costs constituting approximately 30% of the total cost. Tea factories use both electrical energy and thermal energy to process green tea leaves into the market-ready product. Almost all tea factories in southern India rely heavily on biomass-firewood or biomass briquettes - to meet their thermal energy needs. The capability of these units is mainly influenced by several factors including the quality of fuel and the efficiency of various energy-consuming equipments. Energy audits indicate an energy-saving potential as high as 20% in tea units through adoption of energy conservation measures. However, no major initiative has been undertaken in the past to exploit this potential.

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