Access to fresh water is becoming increasingly scarce due to over usage, climate change and population explosion. To counter the crisis, governments, organisations and citizens need to join hands and work collaboratively. Only collective efforts can deliver results.
At AM International, conservation of natural resources be it energy or water is key to our manufacturing competitiveness. Recently, Manali Petrochemicals Limited (MPL), part of AM International undertook measures to stop using fresh water for manufacturing purposes. The company overhauled the water supply infrastructure at its plants to use only treated tertiary sewage water with Usage of Minimum (150 KL per Day) of Fresh water for domestic and Pharmaceutical related products manufacturing process.
Water usage @ MPL
Water is a critical raw material for MPL operations. It is used in manufacturing process, washing processes and cooling systems. The plants have a daily requirement of around 6,000 kilolitres (KL) of water for both of its Units. About 73% of this – translating into 4,400 KL – is used in the manufacturing process and can accommodate water with slightly high total dissolved solids (TDS) levels. This need can be fulfilled using secondary treated sewage water. The remaining 27% water – about 1,600 KL, however, has to be high purity water.
Previously, the infrastructure at MPL plants allowed for a limited supply of high TDS water. Consequently, only 3500 KL of the daily requirement was met through reprocessed wastewater from the Kodungaiyur plant, which is a part of the Chennai Metropolitan Water Supply and Sewerage Board (CMWSSB). The rest of the high TDS water requirement was serviced through MFL’s RO rejects whose supply was inconsistent and often requiring usage of fresh water partially. The company called for water tankers from CMWSSB for its fresh water demand. However, this was expensive and inefficient.
Towards higher water efficiency
To address the challenge, MPL overhauled the water supply infrastructure at its plants. It replaced the pipeline of 10″ to 14″ from the KGR outlet to Plant 2, covering a total distance of 3 km. Further, to connect this line with Plant 1, MPL also converted the existing 6″ pipeline from P2 to P1 with a 10″ pipe covering another 3 km. Today, MPL is meeting its entire requirement of high TDS water with the new infrastructure.
Further, CMWSSB proposed to supply tertiary treated water from the Kodungaiyur plant, which would meet the purity requirements of MPL plants. This move would add sustained value to the manufacturing process by aiding to water conservation efforts and contributing to cost efficiencies. The company modified its pipeline from the outlet point of CMWSSB to both its plants. The pipeline covered a combined distance of approximately 2 km.
The infrastructure overhaul was completed over 12 months at the cost of INR 5 crore. The step benefits us on multiple counts. Firstly, it improves our access to low cost recycled water aiding in switch over to alternate sources without affecting plant operations, which is an essential raw material in our operations. Secondly, the strategy contributes to the effective use of resources, which is at the core of our business objectives. Thirdly, the use of secondary and tertiary treated water enables us to save fresh water for most basic human needs.
At AM International, it is our endeavour to implement green measures for conserving water and energy resources at our manufacturing operations for a sustainable tomorrow. Alongside, cost efficiencies, it is serves our triple bottom-line approach of People, Planet & Profits.