Power crisis hinders industries. This is not the case with the chocolate-maker Campco.

Suitable re-engineering in power-consumption processes and initiatives towards using non-conventional energy sources for power generation have been yielding results.

Suresh Bhandary, Managing Director, Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd, told Business Line that the combination of these factors helped save around Rs 60 lakh in power cost during 2011-12. This year, the cooperative is hopeful of saving around Rs 1 crore in power cost alone.

The cooperative has set up two windmills in Chikkodi and one at Hoovinahadagali, both in Karnataka. “Our expectation is to generate around 36 lakh units of power from these windmills,” he said.

Because of the income-tax benefits on windmills, the cooperative gets power at Rs 3.10 a unit for its chocolate factory. The cost is around Rs 5.20 a unit, if it uses the grid power. The net saving of Rs 2 a unit helps the cooperative save around Rs 72 lakh a year, he said.

Stating that chocolate manufacturing requires chilled water to the plant, he said the factory was using electricity-driven compressors for producing chilled water. Recently, the factory changed the chilled-water-generation process to vapour absorption mechanism. Steam energy, instead of electrical power, is used in this process.

“With this changeover, we would save around Rs 1 lakh-worth power at our factory every month,” Bhandary said.

Cost reduction is also seen in the case of steam generation also. It uses biomass briquettes for steam generation, instead of furnace oil. The factory gets steam at Re 1 a kg with the use of biomass briquettes. It costs around Rs 3 a kg of steam, if furnace oil is used.

The total power requirement of the factory is around 62 lakh units a year. He said the cooperative is hopeful of getting 52 lakh units through a combination of windmills and the re-engineering in power-consumption processes. “With this, we are hoping to save around Rs 1 crore in power cost this fiscal,” and Bhandary said.

In 2011-12, the factory saved 30 lakh units of power. Explaining this, he said it used around 22 lakh units of wind power (Chikkodi units were set up in December 2011). Power equivalent to eight lakh units was saved through the use of the vapour absorption mechanism. “An average savings of Rs 2 a unit of power helps us save around Rs 60 lakh in 2011-12,” he added.

vinayak.aj@thehindu.co.in

(This article was published on August 6, 2012)
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