The Coimbatore District in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India is the site of an energy intensive cluster of more than 600 small-scale grey iron metal foundries, which consume 180,000 tons of coke and 600 million kWh of electricity a year. A wider multi-agency project had already been implemented to facilitate general business development in the Coimbatore cluster, but energy efficiency investments did not take off due to a lack of awareness of the available solutions on all sides, and a lack of local energy efficiency service providers.
This project aimed to accelerate the adoption of cleaner and more energy efficient technology in the Coimbatore metal-casting cluster. It focused on increasing demand for energy efficiency technologies, building awareness among foundries and simultaneously strengthening the capabilities of local service providers (LSPs). It also actively promoted interactions among government, industry and financial institutions, with the objective of identifying innovative mechanisms to promote energy efficiency in the sector.
More details on the challenges faced by the Indian metal casting sector can be found in the needs assessment prepared for this project.
The project successfully demonstrated that the use of energy efficient technologies can be propagated through a structured collaborative approach. As a result of the project, five energy efficiency pilots were completed, more than 100 furnace operators trained to use energy efficient technology and the capacity of 25 LSPs enhanced. Inspired by this project, especially by visits to demonstration plants, other foundries and SME clusters have begun implementing energy efficiency solutions, sharing knowledge and actively participating in policy level discussions. These are clear indicators of a maturing initiative with a growing positive impact.