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Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. achieves cost reduction through the implementation of no-cost energy efficiency measures

          Figure 1: Air compressor unit at Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. in IIE Haridwar

Summary of the success

Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. is an ayurvedic soap manufacturer in SIIDCUL’s Integrated Industrial Estate (IIE) in Haridwar who took initiative to make its operations more sustainable by targeting their energy efficiency. The energy saving could be realised after the assessment of current resource usage and the subsequent implementation of several no-cost measures. Besides helping the environment, Cholayil achieved significant cost savings as well through the implementation of those measures.

A consortium of experts in the field of resource, energy and water efficiency in industrial processes, led by the German consultancy, adelphi, visited 50 companies to undertake rapid assessments of their production facilities. Companies interested in increasing their resource efficiency and reducing the pollution caused by their production were selected for a more detailed assessment, given that potential for successful implementation of efficiency measures existed. Cholayil Pvt. Ltd was one of those companies selected for a detailed assessment. Whilst the detailing of measures is currently still ongoing, significant energy and, hence, electricity cost savings have already been realised through the implementation of simple, no-cost operational changes in the production processes.

About the problem

The Ganga River provides a livelihood to more than 500 million people. It is the source of drinking water as well as many economic and agricultural activities. The river and its surroundings are habitats for many plant and animal species. Last but not least, Ganga has tremendous cultural and religious significance. Despite numerous rejuvenation efforts over the past 30 years, environmental pressure on Ganga has not reduced – but rather – increased.

IIE Haridwar is an industrial estate located in the catchment area of river Ganga spreading over an area of 2,038 acres. It comprises of 15 sectors of which 12 are occupied by more than 550 industrial units, mainly pharmaceuticals, electrical and electronics, packaging, food production, metal processing, plastic and rubber moulding, and cosmetics. In total, there are 473 operational units in the estate generating industrial and domestic wastewater. The effluent streams are collected and are treated at the industrial estate’s Common Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP).

Several of the companies assessed under the SEIP face difficulties in meeting the inlet norms of the CETP due to ineffectually operating ETPs. Pollution parameters, such as COD levels, or the wastewater volume discharged overall exceed the permissible ceiling. Accordingly, companies are frequently charged with fines by the CETP. The operation of the CETP, in return, is hampered by incoming wastewater that does not meet its requirements in terms of quantity and quality.

Actions initiated

To systematically improve the situation, IIE Haridwar was included as a project site under the “Sustainable and Environment-friendly Industrial Production (SEIP)” project of the Indo-German technical cooperation. Jointly with SIIDCUL, a public agency owning the industrial estate, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH has been implementing the SEIP Project since 2016.

Under SEIP, a German consultancy was hired to audit and assess the potential of environmental improvements in companies directly. On the one hand, end-of-pipe solutions, i.e. an improvement in the treatment of wastewater and waste are being considered. The main focus, however, lies on increasing resource, water, and energy efficiency in the companies’ processes since tackling pollution at the source is generally a more economical solution. The objective is to reduce environmental impacts of industrial operations at the same time as operating and/or waste disposal/treatment costs.

The approach is to target technological modifications, changes in applied techniques, and process optimisations. The latter two usually do not require large investments, but rather entail changes in the conduction of production steps, a change of input materials, or the training of workers. These measures tend to build the trust of companies in the viability of efficiency measures and lay the basis for larger interventions requiring substantial investments.

Figure 2: Maintenance of air compressor unit at Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. in IIE Haridwar

Energy savings

Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. is an ayurvedic soap manufacturer with a workforce of 200 people and an annual turnover of roughly 170 crores INR. Cholayil welcomed the idea to work on sustainable solutions with the team of consultants.

During their visit to the company, the consultants identified opportunities in the plant to realize energy savings. In the packing unit of the company, conveyor motors were observed to run idle, e.g. when operators were taking breaks, and it was hence, suggested to turn the motors off during the time that they were not required. Further, the reduction of leaks in the air compressor system was suggested. Before the intervention of the consultants, the leaks had not been identified due to a lack of monitoring equipment at the plant.

The consultants also trained a team of workers at Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. on how to identify leaks and how to carry out leak tests on their own. Besides installing technical skills, this measure is believed to generate more ownership and interest regarding energy efficiency measures amongst the workforce. The conduction of a compressed air leak test has further been made a regular part of the plant’s maintenance schedule in order to increase the sustainability of the measure.

Problems identified




2 h of idle operation of conveyors for packing, each powered by motors of 0.37 kW.

Connection of conveyor motor with the control panel of the packing machine. Now, conveyor motors stop as soon as the packing machine is turned off. 

 No cost

Estimated energy savings of 1,287 kWh/yr.

22% of compressed air line leaks. Two compressors each with 11.25 kW motors operated for 8h/day.

Covering of identified leaks in air compressor system reducing the leakages to 5%.

 No cost

Saving of estimated 12,006 kWh/yr.

Total costs:

No cost

Total savings:

Estimated savings of 82,000 INR per year 

Estimated payback period:

0 months

Environmental benefits

Economic benefits

Electricity cost savings of INR 82,000 INR per year

Reduction of electricity consumption by 13,293kWh per year

The success – The benefits!!

In total, the implemented measures led to a reduction of electricity consumption by 13,293 kWh annually translating into an annual cost savings of about INR 82,000. These savings are especially remarkable, as they were achieved through simple low or, in case of purely operational adjustments, no-cost measures.

Training of company staff on how to identify leaks and how to carry out leak tests on their own will further generate increased interest in energy efficiency measures. Also, making tests such as a compressed air leak test part of regular maintenance routines will, in turn, increase the sustainability of efficiency measures.

Despite the openness of Cholayil Pvt. Ltd. towards environmental improvements in their operation, there was a general lack of knowledge and awareness regarding saving potentials through more efficient production processes before the intervention. Measurement and detection devices, as well as no knowledge of techniques to conduct tests to determine energy consumption and losses, were not available. The fact that cleaner production is not merely a good deed for the environment but also helps to increase operational efficiency, leading to cost-savings and increased competitiveness is being vividly demonstrated by the implementation of these simple yet effective changes, further contributing to a change in perception regarding environmentally-friendly production, paving the way for further, more large-scale, interventions.

“We have significantly benefited while working with Stenum Asia and GIZ under the SEIP Project. The activities produced good impact on energy savings at our factory. It is a great initiative by GIZ and the allied consultancy team who are taking keen interest with the companies to move towards a cleaner environment”

Mr. Arun Thekkedath, Factory Manager, Cholayil Pvt. Ltd.


“It has been a fantastic journey of moving towards an Energy Efficient and Cleaner Resource production with the guidance and consultancy of Stenum Asia and GIZ. We have majorly worked on energy saving through small, but effective steps or improvements. These kinds of projects are really appreciable since they ensure the involvement of people and make aware about good practices and solutions to ensure environment-friendly production”.

Mr. Bhuwan Sharma, Quality Manager, Cholayil Pvt. Ltd.