Kiru Tea Factory has scooped the top prize at the prestigious Energy Management Awards (EMA) highlighting the impressive energy efficiency gains made by factories managed by Kenya Tea Development Agency- Management Services (KTDA-MS).
Kiru emerged top in the Fuel Savings category, at the 2019 EMA Awards held at A Nairobi Hotel.
The remarkable showing by factories is a product of an energy efficiency drive that has seen 69 KTDA-managed factories reduced the amount of energy used to process one kilo of tea by an average 15 per cent over the last four years.
Energy cost is the highest cost of operation for KTDA factories accounting for about 30 per cent of total operating costs. Reduction of this cost through various energy efficiency measures is a major focus of our efforts across all KTDA-managed factories, ensuring that net earnings for tea farmers are continually improved.
The factories have been employing a mix of initiatives including regular energy audits and replacement of standard machine parts (like withering fans and motors) with high efficiency ones to bring down the energy consumption.
The production units are also insulating their steam systems to prevent heat loss and save on the amount of wood fuel used.
Other initiatives include the installation of LED lights which consume less power, training production staff on energy efficiency and installation of air pre-heaters in boilers which helps cut wood fuel consumption by about five per cent.