Japanese biz plans clean energy from Lanka’s staple food

Sri Lanka’s rice industry, which has earned an international reputation as one of the few producers of some best red rice varieties in the world, is set get a fresh boost when a top Japanese biz house moves in to utilize ‘rice husks’ for clean energy production in large scale. Rice Husk Briquettes, the low cost clean, bio-mass energy source used internationally, is now set to enter Sri Lanka’s industrial landscape, and even domestic use when MTI Japan begins its project in Sri Lanka.

"Husk bricks are an internationally used energy source well known for their environment friendliness and low cost, often almost freely sourced. For example, their costs savings are more than 20% in comparison to coal, and three-to four times energy output as firewood," revealed Teppei Tanigawa, the President/CEO of Hyogo, Kobe based MTI Japan Co Ltd when he recently called on Rishad Bathiudeen (Minister of Industry and Commerce of Sri Lanka).’

"Just 2 kilos of husk bricks can give energy equivalent of one litre of kerosene when used domestically. Rice husk bricks are widely used in Japan for house heating specially in winter. As a result, we know how efficient it is for industry usage. We are studying many ways of producing the bricks in Sri Lanka, including a mobile production unit which can assist to give tech transfer to Sri Lanka’s rice industry," Tanigawa said.

"In other words, you don’t need to bring the paddy husks to us, but we can come to the rural doorstep and on our way back from the farmers home, we can create bricks and the completed bricks are ready to be fed to the burner promptly. We are also planning to set up more than 100 husk grinding mills across the country in proximity to paddy areas. The good news is that we have already introduced this novel mobile compressing technology to Kenya with good results. From Kenya, we are planning to expand to the rest of the huge African market where not only rice husks, but even peanut husks could be used in large quantities."

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