Green and profitable: Thermax

A greener focus is quite profitable, finds Thermax

Business Standard | Decvember 10, 2009

Teams across divisions find immense scope for getting more with less.

From a small boilermaker company to a leader in energy and environment solutions, Thermax's journey is getting greener by the day, with a three-point programme: Reduce, reuse and recycle. Not only is it initiating green activities in-house but also helping its customers conserve energy.

The company estimates its saving from such activities as Rs 17 lakh in 2006-07, rising to Rs 56 lakh in 2007-08 and Rs 82 lakh in 2008-09. This is spearheaded by a Project Ever Lean, in which teams across divisions work on systems and processes to see whow these can be made better. Around 400 employees have been involved. Energy saving devices have been installed, older equipment modified and re-used, and simple steps agreed on like shifting the weekly off from Sunday to Thursday at its facility here —Thursday being the power load shedding day—to avoid using generator backup.

A project is underway for a biogas unit which will convert solid waste from the Chinchwad factory canteen here, reducing use of LPG. It will also make use of a ‘smart' way to watch water consumption, through metering systems and photo sensors for controlling use.

In addition, Thermax has installed a sewage treatment plant for treating and recycling water. The industrial wastewater at its chemical manufacturing plant in nearby Paudh has an effluent treatment and recycling system that uses various technologies, including reverse osmosis to clean and recover water, and boilers modified accordingly to reuse such water.

In a bid to leave a smaller carbon footprint, the company took on another three-point agenda: Elimination, improvement and innovation. Eliminating and streamlining various manufacturing processes like streamlining stress-relieving operations of the furnaces, improving efficiency of current equipment and processes, and innovative methods such as using fuels smartly have all measurably helped.

The company says with pride that clients in over 60 countries have found Thermax's green techniques useful in making their operations leaner. “We have already commissioned plants that generate green energy-equivalent of more than 4,000 Mw of power per hour. Our vapour absorption chillers supplied to customers provide more than one million tonnes of environment-friendly chilling, with water as refrigerant. And, our treatment plants clean 1,000 million litres per day of wastewater,” says M S Unnikrishnan, managing director.

These initiatives have contributed in making operations leaner round the globe and in reducing energy intensity for many industries, it notes. While revenue doubled between 2005-6 and 2007-08, from Rs 1,606 crore to Rs 3,433 crore, carbon dioxide emissions have fallen by four tonnes for each rise of Rs 1 crore, the company said.

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