As part of efforts to boost the use of green energy in day-to-day operations and bring down power costs, the Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative (Campco) Ltd has installed a third unit of VAM (vapour absorption mechanism) at its chocolate factory in Puttur, Dakshina Kannada district, Karnataka.

HM Krishna Kumar, Managing Director of Campco, told businessline that the three VAM units will help save around 24 lakh units of electricity a year.

VAM is an absorption refrigerator that uses a heat source to provide the energy needed for cooling. Here mechanical compression of vapour is replaced by thermal compression. This saves electricity, he said.

The third VAM unit, set up at a cost of around ₹1 crore, would reduce the electricity needed for air conditioning the entire chocolate factory, he said.

Other energy sources

It was 15 years ago that Campco decided to run the boiler at its chocolate factory — used to roast cocoa beans and cook chocolate, among other processes — on steam generated by bio-briquettes (blocks of agro waste). Till then, it had used furnace oil.

Later the cooperative decided to use steam energy to power its air-conditioning units. In 2011, the first VAM unit was installed at its chocolate factory in Puttur.

Apart from VAM units, Campco has been using other green energy sources such as windmills and solar.

Kumar said Campco generates around 45 lakh units of power a year from its three windmill units, and 7.5 lakh units a year from solar energy.