Incubation centre established for R&D of the brick sector in Nepal

   TwitCount

Brick entrepreneurs in Nepal can now test soil properties and the calorific value of coal, thereby enabling energy and resource efficient brick production. This has been made possible through the establishment in October 2019 of a brick sector incubation centre and laboratory in Lalitpur. The Federation of Nepal Brick Industries (FNBI) invested in the physical infrastructure and ICIMOD supported procurement of the equipment for testing and research and development (R&D). 

The incubation centre will strengthen FNBI’s Technical Resource Development Committee (TRDC), and enable R&D for the continuous refinement of brick production in Nepal. The centre is also expected to catalyze innovation and production of industry related marketable equipment.  A core aspect of the incubation centre is a laboratory equipped with facilities to test coal, soil, brick strength, and to measure emissions. The centre is equipped with bomb calorimeter, muffle furnace, thermocouples, stack monitoring equipment and burners for gas firing, among others. FNBI has hired a technician to operate the laboratory and two support staff. The technician received training at the Department of Mines and Geology in Kathmandu.

  • The incubation centre is one aspect of ICIMOD’s three-pronged approach to building capacity and awareness in the brick sector and promote the use of cleaner technologies in south Asia. Simultaneously, ICIMOD trains brick kiln owners and workers at seven showcase kilns on issues such as energy-efficient and lower emission brick production and improved working conditions. 

  • The project is also linking academia to the R&D Unit for the design, modification and mechanization of four major processes and equipment (clay mixing, coal crusher, ravish lifting, and fan with Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) setting) through students theses. Further institutional development in collaboration with the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the Institute of Engineering, Pulchowk is also being explored.

  • The laboratory sets an example that governments can replicate and further support the brick sector at provincial level. Continued R&D efforts and functional use of the brick laboratory will also encourage further sharing of knowledge among FABKA members.

Representatives of all four FABKA countries with ICIMOD DDG Eklabya Sharma inaugurate the first brick incubation center to be established in Nepal. Photo credit: ICIMOD

Eklabya Sharma, Deputy Director General, ICIMOD highlighted how the establishment of the incubation centre is a major milestone in the brick industry and provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs in the region to make informed decisions that can ultimately enable them to produce better quality bricks.

The incubation centre strengthens FNBI’s Technical Resource Development Committee (TRDC), and enables R&D for the continuous refinement of brick production in Nepal. Photo credit: ICIMOD

FNBI President Mahendra Chitrakar appreciated ICIMOD support not only on behalf of Nepal’s brick entrepreneurs but also on behalf of FABKA. He reiterated how by reducing fuel, the industry can reduce air pollution across Nepal, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. He called for all the countries to work together for this, as well as towards better working conditions for workers across the region. This initiative has been supported by UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC).

The incubation centre is a major milestone in the brick industry and provides a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs in the region to make informed decisions that can ultimately enable them to produce better quality bricks. Photo credit: ICIMOD