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Bangladesh adopts green brick making

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
Dhaka, Bangladesh (UPI) Apr 6, 2010
In an effort to reduce greenhouse gases, Bangladesh has adopted smokeless brick-making technology introduced by the U.N. Development Program.

The UNDP will contribute $25 million over the next five years for the new program, which replaces methods used for more than 150 years.

Bangladesh's brick industry has grown approximately 5.3 percent during the last decade and is likely to continue. It represents one of the largest sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the country -- estimated at 6 million tons of carbon dioxide -- due to the use of outmoded technologies and substandard fuels such as wood and the burning of tires, a UNDP news release states.

The UNDP said the smokeless technology would help the country's brick making industry to become more energy efficient while increasing production and processing. This will lower local pollution and reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as reduce production costs and improve product quality.

The UNDP has plans for 15 new smokeless brick making projects throughout Bangladesh.

"The innovative technology that is being used to replace the existing 150-year-old system will simply make the brick making industry so efficient that when this is replicated across Bangladesh we will have huge benefits for both the people and the global environment,", UNDP Bangladesh Country Director Stefan Priesner said in a statement.

According to the UNDP, Bangladesh uses about 23 tons of coal to produce 100,000 bricks, compared with China, which uses 7.8 to 8 tons of coal to produce the same amount.

And wood still accounts for about 25 percent of the fuel used in Bangladesh's brick making kilns. Studies carried out in the 1980s identified brick fields as a major reason for deforestation in the country.

"The problem here is that the traditional technologies of manufacturing bricks are heavily polluting the environment and in light of the economic growth in Bangladesh there is a huge pressure to manufacture more and more bricks," said Priesner.

Economic growth also means shortages of electricity for Bangladesh. The country has a daily electricity output totaling approximately 3,800 megawatts. But with a demand of 6,000 megawatts, it faces a supply crunch of 2,200 megawatts.

The state-owned Bangladesh Power Development Board projected that the country would need $9.5 billion to streamline its ailing power sector by 2014. Out of the total amount, $7 billion would be needed for electricity generation, $1 billion for transmission and $1.5 billion for distribution.

Prime Minister Sheik Hasina vowed Saturday to ensure electricity for all in the country by 2020, the Daily Start reports.

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