Policy dialogue on up scaling energy efficiency in metal casting in Southern India, 21st February 2013, Chennai, Tamil Nadu
Foundry or metal casting is one the most energy intensive manufacturing processes, in the small-scale sector in India. A regional level policy dialogue to deliberate on strategies to upscale energy efficient (EE) technologies and practices in the metal casting sector was organized by The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) in association with The Institute of Indian Foundrymen (IIF) Chennai Chapter on 21st February 2013 at Chennai in the state of Tamil Nadu. The event was supported by Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP) Program and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). Senior representatives from SDC, industry, government, financial and academic institutions participated in the event.
The participants were welcomed by Mr Girish Sethi, TERI and Mr K S Anbuselvan, IIF-Chennai. TERI-SDC’s initiative to promote EE melting furnace – the divided blast cupola (DBC) – among metal casting units were highlighted by them. A short film highlighting TERI-SDC’s demonstration and dissemination of cleaner technologies for the foundry sector was screened as background information of the participants. Mr Daniel Ziegerer, Director of Cooperation, Embassy of Switzerland, delivered the keynote address. He mentioned about the SAMEEEKSHA initiative launched jointly by Bureau of Energy Efficiency (BEE), Ministry of MSME, Climate Change Division of the Embassy of Switzerland and TERI to promote knowledge sharing on energy efficiency among MSMEs. Mr Ziegerer urged the participants to reflect on the issues which can facilitate the up-scaling of EE technologies and practices in the metal casting sector. Sharing the industry’s view, Mr N Narasimhan, Brakes India, emphasized the importance of technical support to industry in the area of new technologies. He mentioned that establishment of technical support centres at cluster level, jointly with industry association, will be useful.
Initiating the panel discussion, Dr Veena Joshi, Sr Advisor -Energy, Climate Change and Development Division, Embassy of Switzerland requested the panelists to share their views on the role of different institutions in promoting energy efficiency in the sector. Mr V Sridharan, Small Industries Development Bank of India was of the view that providing soft loans to MSMEs for capital-intensive EE technologies will accelerate their uptake. Mr S Sivagnanam from the MSME-Development Institute, Chennai mentioned that more dialogistic studies should be supported by government which will help industry in identifying appropriate EE solutions. Mr A Pari, an owner of aluminum metal casting unit in Chennai, emphasized the role of better monitoring of energy-related parameters by the industry. He felt that there is a need for promoting awareness and R&D on cleaner technologies in the sector. Mr Gopal Ramaswami, a local service provider, opinioned that initiatives aimed at energy benchmarking and capacity building will help in promoting energy efficiency. The need for conducting more energy audits and hands-on capacity building programs on energy conservation was emphasized by Mr P Dharmalingam of National Productivity Council, Chennai. Dr H Sundara Murthy, an eminent foundryman and office-bearer of the World Foundry Organization, highlighted the importance of best practices in reducing scrap levels and saving energy in a metal casting unit. He urged the industry owners to adopt the TERI designed DBC as it is a better alternative to the induction furnace from the energy perspective, especially considering the difficult power situation presently prevailing in the state of Tamil Nadu.
It was decided to undertake a few more stakeholder consultations at other locations/regions in India before coming out with a national level strategy paper to upscale energy efficiency in the Indian metal casting sector.