Removing burnt bricks Black carbon is a major problem Poor working conditions Working conditions

Industry

Brick Market

At present, the brick industry in the developing world is a vast, coal burning and polluting industry almost entirely lacking automation. 1500 billion bricks are produced globally each year, of these 1300 billion bricks (or 87%) are from Asia. Rapidly accelerating urbanization at an average rate of 6% p.a, this growth is driving increasing demand for bricks. Solid, fired clay bricks are among the most widely used building materials.

The cost of fuel (coal) and its availability to the industry is now a major concern for brick entrepreneurs. India has recently introduced export bans, now  impacting significantly on neighbouring countries (Nepal and Bangladesh).

The labour intensive exercise of hand moulding clay into bricks (Hand-made bricks), is the predominant way of shaping green bricks in developing countries. In contrast bricks in the developed world are machine made and pressed in a highly automated fashion and then fired in highly automated electricity dependent tunnel kilns.

The brick sector in developing countries is generally labour intensive and non-mechanized. The lack of automation is the result of a number of factors including;

  • The availability of a pool of a mainly itinerant, low cost workforce.
  • The fact that the workforce is mainly drawn from subsistence farmers and this is their only source of cash income.
  • The lack of access to consistent electricity/power supply to run machinery.
  • The extremely high capital cost of establishing mechanized kilns and the resultant extended payback periods for their owners in what is a free enterprise system in most countries.

The introduction of a fuel efficient, cost effective kiln technology that produces high quality bricks is economically, socially and environmentally critical. HZZK technology provides a kiln that meets the needs of the brick industry in the developing world.

WORLD BRICK PRODUCTION

Country Production % No. Billion P.A.
China 66.67% 1,000
India 13.33% 200
Pakistan 3.00% 45
Vietnam 1.67% 25
Bangladesh 1.13% 17
Nepal 0.40% 6
Rest of Asia 0.47% 7
Total Asia 86.67% 1,300
USA 0.53% 8
UK 0.37% 4
Australia 0.13% 2
Rest of World 12.40% 186
Total Rest of World 13.33% 200
Total World Production 100.00% 1,500

Source: Ellen Baum - Session 1, Mexico & India: GKSPL Estiate, Pakistan: Estimate based on CIWCE report Lahore, Bangladesh & China: ESMAP & World Bank Report, Vietnam: Ministry of Construction Vietnam

*Figures are based on a very conservative 300,000 brick kilns. We estimate this is more accurately in excess of 500,000. India alone has over 100,000 kilns and the industry is expanding.

The Climate and Clean Air Coalition (CCAC) www.ccacoalition.org recently published a document on the worlds brick industry- please click on the image below for further reading

Cutting CO2 emissions in brick-making

The successful conclusion of the in-depth research study is a significant achievement for the Energy Efficient Clay Brick (EECB) Project, a CBA initiative funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and implemented in South Africa by Swisscontact.

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