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by Editor in Bio-waste

The facilities management firm GSH Group India has won the Environment category at this year’s Energy Institute Awards for its work with Indian FMCG firm Kaleesuwari, in helping it switch from coal to biomass products, including turmeric and sawdust, to produce steam for its refineries in India. And now it’s moving onto Chilli.

GSH has worked with Kaleesuwari since 2015 managing its refineries in India to produce steam used in the extraction of oils from nuts, seeds and other raw materials for sale into the food, personal and household markets in the country. In November 2017 they started to mix biomass – including sawdust, wood charcoal powder and turmeric – with coal as a fuel for the fluidized-bed combustion boilers in two power refineries in Palani and Chennai. Over the course of the following six months, this increased to 60% and 20% biomass respectively, and GSH achieved a 60% reduction in CO2 emissions together with a 15% reduction in the cost of steam. Biomass ash content is low compared to coal, making for easy and more environmentally-friendly disposal. And the products, which are sustainably sourced from close to the refineries, are safer to store.

The results have seemingly been so positive that GSH is now in the process of switching over completely to biomass and increasing the range of biomass products it uses including chilli powder.

The announcement was made on 22 November at a glittering awards ceremony at the Sheraton Grand London Park Lane in front of the industry’s leading figures. The awards recognise schemes and projects that enhance the environment or offset carbon emissions including a demonstrable commitment to managing the risks of energy to the environment and reducing the carbon footprint of the industry. GSH faced fierce competition in this category – including a project to reduce air pollution in Beijing and another in an Iranian gas refinery.

“Innovation is at the heart of the GSH approach, and this project epitomises the way we do business,” said Mark Thomas, CEO of GSH Group. “I am thrilled that our engineers’ hard work and dedication to our clients and the environment has been recognised by the Energy Institute.”

“GSH Group should be proud of the inroads they’ve achieved in reducing the environmental impact of Kaleesuwari’s steam production process and showing other businesses in India that shifting from coal to alternative fuels can be a viable option,” said Energy Institute president Malcolm Brinded. “Beating climate change – while extending the tremendous benefits of energy to all populations ­– calls for innovation and a lot of hard work, by many smart people, all around the world.”

The EI Awards, now in their 19th year, is run by the Energy Institute to recognise those individuals and businesses shaping the world’s energy future. The awards celebrate the achievements of the energy industry across the globe, giving recognition to individuals and organisations who take an innovative and responsible approach to solving the industry’s challenges of providing society with clean, sustainable, low cost and dependable energy.

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