Energy Conservation in Small Sector Tea Processing Units in Southern India

What is the Project About

what is the project all about

The project, in partnership with the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India, funded by Global Environment Facility, aims to introduce energy conservation measures in the firewood intensive tea sector in south India by addressing information, technology and financial barriers that stand in the way of greater adoption of energy conservation technologies and practices.

What Have We Accomplished So Far

What have we accomplished so far
  • Over 200 small tea processing units have implemented a range of energy efficiency measures in both thermal and electrical energy triggering close to US$ 2.5 million in private investment

  • The initiative has enabled savings of US$ 10.4 million through savings of 19.5 million kwh in electricity consumed and reduced firewood required for heating by 142,000 tons

  • Carbon dioxide emissions generated from producing a cup of tea reduced from 17 to 12 grams per cup of tea

  • The pilot has been included for replication in the north-east region of India to be financed through the Government of India’s ongoing 12th Five-Year Plan

  • While energy cost savings are INR 2.78 per kg of made tea, investments in energy efficient measures are INR 2.4 per kg of made tea, allowing for a comfortable payback period of nine months on these investments

  • Impact studies of 86 factories post implementation show that energy efficiency measures have helped reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 263,952 tons. On an average, the tea produced with ENCON measures generated 0.266 kg lesser CO2  (10 percent lesser) than the earlier amount of 3.81 kg CO2/kg of tea

  • Reduction in energy costs by INR 2 per kg of tea through popularization of briquettes, made of agriculture residues

  • Four fuel testing facilities have been set up in Valparai, Vandipe riyar, Munnar and Wayanad to ensure good quality of biomass wood and briquettes. These facilities help to measure calorific value, ash content and moisture of the fuel sample

  • Innovative methods introduced in Jayshree Tea briquetting unit have helped the unit maintain moisture content of raw materials to 15 percent which is optimal for tea processing

  • Three hot water generators, with a capacity of 10 lakh kcal per hour, have been purchased, which will, based on studies, help in reducing firewood consumption by 350–400 tons per year and carbon dioxide emissions by 600 tons per year in a medium-sized factory

  • A strong supply chain of energy equipment dealers has been established, which has also helped cater to the special needs of the tea units

  • Knowledge products such as tutorials on energy efficiency measures like ‘Destination Efficiency,’ promotional documentaries, process document, a dedicated project website ‘,’ and a compendium- ‘Consolidation of Detailed Energy Audits’ were developed as part of the project

Funding Support by

Donor Name Amount Contributed
Global Environment Facility
US$ 950,000
United Nations Development Programme US$ 12,000

Expenditure in Previous Fiscal Year

Year Amount
2012 US$ 146,707
2011 US$ 192,676
2010 US$ 249,084
2009 US$ 141,707
2008 US$ 204,885

Photo Essay

Saving Energy in the Tea Sector

04 June 2014
Saving Energy in the Tea Sector

UNDP in partnership with the Tea Board of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of India and the Global Environment Facility initiated a four year project in 2008, aimed at introducing energy conservation measures in small tea processing factories that could help units save between 15 to 30 percent in energy costs.

Stories of Change

Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Tea Sector

Promoting Energy Efficiency in the Tea Sector
A UNDP project with the Tea Board of India is helping small tea processing enterprises adopt a range of measures to improve energy efficiency in processing. With over US$ 2.5 million investments, the tea producers of the Nilgiri hills in south India are leading the way in demonstrating the possibilities of conserving energy and improving profitability in the sector.

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