These new kilns are much less polluting than traditional kilns. For example, the HHK technology from Germany has been modified to fit local needs. By recycling waste heat from the kiln and using a greener mix of coal and clay to fire the bricks, these kilns use half as much coal as fixed chimney kilns, reducing pollution by 50 per cent.
Modern brick kilns come with economic benefits; their technology allows year-round operations. An HHK kiln can produce an average of 11 million more bricks per year than a fixed chimney kiln. More efficient production means higher income for kiln workers and improved health and safety conditions.
Nazmul Haque, Director (Investment) & Head of Advisory at Infrastructure Development Company Limited (IDCOL) said the goal of the project was to better understand the different kiln technologies available in order to be able to improve due diligence when putting in place new brick kiln projects.
The Bangladeshi government, a founding partner in the CCAC, is committed to curbing air pollution. The Department of Environment (DoE) is keen to move away from traditional brick kilns. It has passed regulation to convert all brick kilns using fire into non-fire ones.
In June at a workshop in Dhaka, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition, IDCOL and the Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, presented the results of the Technical assistance for brick kiln financing in Bangladesh. The Frankfurt school presented a roadmap it developed outlining the steps needed for a transition to cleaner brick kiln technology. Following the workshop, the DOE agreed to go ahead with the proposed Roadmap.
The adoption of modern and environmentally-friendly brick technologies has picked up after the DoE stopped issuing environmental clearance certificates for traditional kilns.
The transition still has a long way to go. According to the latest statistics, to date only 134 HHKs and 47 Tunnel kilns have been installed. This is less than 3% of total brick kilns operating in Bangladesh.