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close this bookIndustrial Metabolism: Restructuring for Sustainable Development (UNU, 1994, 376 pages)
close this folderPart 1: General implications
close this folder4. Industrial restructuring in developing countries: The case of India
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentIndustrial metabolism and sustainable development
View the documentIndustry and sustainable development
View the documentResource utilization
View the documentEnergy efficiency: An overview
View the documentEnergy use in Indian industry: A case-study
View the documentConclusions
View the documentReferences


In this chapter we have looked at industrial restructuring options in terms of improving energy efficiency in a developing country. We have drawn largely from the example of India because it is not only a poor developing country but has a high rate of industrialization, and thus offers a wide spectrum of possibilities for improvement in efficiency and energy savings. One can assume that what is applicable to India will to a certain degree also hold for all other developing countries. Also, what is applicable to energy consumption in the industrial sector (including transport) will in some respects also be applicable to other raw materials and natural resources.

In general, energy-conservation measures have a positive environmental effect by reducing the volume of pollutants discharged from the energy-conversion process as well as by reducing the throughput of raw materials. However, their effect will depend on the type of measure, the type of industry, and the quantity of energy saved.

The qualitative environmental effects of energy conservation in four energy-intensive industries in India are presented in table 15. These measures have particular relevance for developing countries undertaking major industrial projects as, subject to financial con straints, they can bypass outmoded technologies. This is what has been called the "advantage of the late-comers."

Fig. 2 Potential for energy saving, selected industries in India (Source: Energy Management Centre)

Table 15 Energy-conservation measures in major Indian industry subsectors and environmental impact

Pollution Major energy-conservation
Impact on environment
Iron and steel Coke ovens: sulphur dioxide in air; ammonia steel wastes and light-formed coke oil decanter wastes containing phenols, ammonia, cyanides, chlorides and sulphur compounds Substitution of metallurgical coke
by formed coke
Easier accommodation to pollution control
Dry quenching helps in reduction of pollution from the quench tower
Blast furnace: particulate emissigns in off-gases; H2S and SO2 in air; suspended solids; cyanides, in water; a solid waste as slag Direct reduction and electric furnace melting Need for metallurgical coal is voided along with attendant pollution problem
Steel-making processes: fumes
from furnaces; suspended soils
in water
Basic oxygen steel-making Reduction in energy
Better control options on pollution than with open-hearth furnace
Steel-rolling and furnishing: air
borne scale, lubricating oils,
spent pickle liquor, and pickling
rinse water
  Continuous casting; heat conservation; gas cleaning
Cement Rotary kiln: SO2, Nox, and particulates Wet process to dry process Owingto significant impact upon energy requirements, there is a
reduction in airborne pollution
Grinding: particulates   Discharge of water from wet process cement plants is absent in dry-process cement manufacture
Precalciners The generation of nitrogen oxides is reduced by both the low
temperature and the short time
combustion gases he stay in the burning zone, relative to conventional kilns.
Use of pozzolanic cements and slag cement The increased use of these cemeets would provide beneficial
and economic use of such waste
materials as blast furnace slag
or fly ash, thereby tending to reduce the environmental prob
lems associated with these waste materials
Aluminium Pollution associated with burning
of coal to raise steam for alumina plant and electricity for both
alumina and aluminium plants.
Fluoride emissions from electrolytic cells
Aluminium chloride electrolysis process
to coal saving and reduction
related coal-burning
Reduction in electrial energy consumption by 30 per cent leads
Hard metal cathode made of titanium carbide or titanium dibromice replacing carbon cathode Reduction in electrical energy is with y 20 per cent, attendant
reduction in coal
consumption and hence in pollution from

Source: Pachauri and Sambasivan, 1989.

In summarizing, the policies of developing countries for the industrial sector should:

- increase awareness about the needs and benefits of energy conservation;
- develop technical expertise through training at various levels;
- provide fiscal incentives/disincentives to implement energy-saving schemes;
- institute a nodal organization to coordinate energy-conservation efforts in industry;
- encourage manufacturers to coordinate energy-conservation efforts in industry;
- encourage manufacture of energy-efficient equipment, devices, and instruments; and
- strike a balance between energy use, energy conservation, and pollutionabatement measures.

What applies to energy consumption naturally also applies to other material inputs, as well as to waste disposal. It seems to us that the pursuance of a conservation strategy such as the one outlined above, motivated by various environmental and economic incentives, constitutes the industrial restructuring agenda for a sustainable development path in developing countries.

The process of industrialization is far from satisfactory in developing countries. There are persistent shortages of basic industrial products such as iron and steel and low per capita availability of these products, in spite of an abundance of natural resources. This being the case, the consumption of raw materials and the production of wastes are probably going to increase further. However, industrial restructuring to reduce the throughput of energy and materials in the industrial system can also occur simultaneously with the process of industrial growth that is under way in developing countries. The potential for this restructuring and, implicitly, for an improved "industrial metabolism" is enormous, as the preceding sections should have demonstrated.