India’s two central tea production regions are the hilly districts of Assam and West Bengal and the Western Ghats of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. India is among the world’s top tea-consuming countries, with 80% of the tea produced in the country consumed by the domestic population. India’s total tea production for 2020 was 1,257.52 million kg, and for the financial year 2020-21, it was 1,283 million kg. The crucial steps in tea production are withering, rolling and drying tea leaves. The steps involve high-temperature processing. Therefore, coal is extensively required to process tea leaves in factories. But today, the industry appeals for alternative power sources due to the rise in coal prices.

Tea Production
Tea Production

Traditional dependency on coal for tea production

About 450 tea factories in North Bengal run on 100% coal. North Bengal contributes to about 30% of India’s tea production. Coal is usually supplied in North Eastern regions from Raniganj, Asansol and Indonesia. Earlier, coal was available at Rs 8,000 per metric tonne, but if we see today, prices have touched more than Rs 21000 per metric tonne. An estimation shows around 1.125 kilos of coal is essential to make one kilo of tea. Now, the tea production in Bengal and Assam requires around 8.79 lakh tonnes of coal to manufacture tea.

Tea manufacturing requires a lot of coal. Withering and drying operations in the tea process are accomplish with coal-fired dryers. The withering and drying process alone requires 90% of the tea factory’s total heat; therefore, the coal-fired systems are highly inefficient and not durable. As a result, dependency on conventional fuel results in the emissions of greenhouse gases that mainly leads to global warming.


Conversion of coal-fired heaters to biomass.

Biomass fuel is an excellent alternative to fossil fuels, especially for the environment. It derives from plant life but can also be produce from other sources, such as animal waste and wood. Energy obtained from biomass is consider renewable because the energy source replenishes quickly. Biomass can be used to replace fossil fuels and reduce carbon emissions. Thus, looking into this, Steamax has developed an innovative biomass fuel blend, “Astillas”. This blend generates lesser emissions as compared to other fuels. It burns clean and has better combustion characteristics.

How is Astillas different from biomass fuel?

  1. It has high calorific value (>4200 Kcal/Kg), low moisture content(<10%), and ash content(<2%). Thus, it burns more efficiently than any other fuel due to lower bulk density and higher calorific value.
  2. The fuel processes using low-cost local biomass like cashew shells, de-oiled cashew cake, sawdust, groundnut shell, and seasoned wood chips.
  3. Astillas come in reusable bags that are easier to store and handle. In other words, the bags are specifically design for longer life to ensure re-usability.
  4. Astillas have a Cashew nut shell oil below 8%. Thus, the fuel blend has no anacardic acid or phenol.

At Steamax, developing new and cost-effective biomass fuels is the topmost priority. Steamax has developed a compelling blend of Biomass- ‘Astillas’ considering all the perspectives. Want to know us more – Contact or +91-9315124803.