Congratulation to Engr. Asad Mahmood(an alumnus of Mechanical Engineering Department 2003 Session) on receiving Tamgha-e-Imtiaz


President of Islamic Republic of Pakistan has conferred Engr. Asad Mahmood (an alumnus of 2k3 Mechanical Engineering) with TAMGHA-E-IMTIAZ on the occasion of Independence Day for rendering dedicated services with selfless devotion in Public Service.

 

Brick industries used to be considered an informal sector in Pakistan and was grappling with a number of inherent environmental and social issues. Transformation of the sector due to continuous support being given to the brick kiln sector is now gradually underway very quickly which was at a very slow pace and also on a low scale prior January 2017. More than 90% of the bricks used to be produced by the indigenous Fixed Chimney Bull’s Trench Kilns (FCBTK). In past, new kiln technologies like modified FCBTK, Hoffman Kiln and Vertical Shaft Brick Kiln (VSBK) were introduced and did not meet the desired success levels, owing to a number of issues. There was no clear policy and strategic guidance to transform and modernize the sector. Many existing policies were rudimentary and their enforcement was rather weak hence were not instrumental enough to bring the holistic change in the sector. There was, therefore, a need for comprehensive strategic policy measures and tangible projects to make the industry energy-efficient, environment-friendly and socially responsive.

 

To address the adverse climatic aspects of the brick kilns mentioned above, Mr. Asad Mahmood who is a Mechanical Engineer by profession having 15 years of professional experience played a leading role. He is currently associated and leading the technical activities of the National Energy Efficiency & Conservation Authority & Energy Conservation Fund as Manager Technical. He established a connection of the Ministry of Climate Change with the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and laid a foundation which initiated the switching process from the centuries old traditional brick making polluting practices with the zig zag technique.

 

Mr. Asad Mahmood not only kept a smooth interaction with the ICIMOD, Ministry of Climate Change, EPAs but also mobilized All Pakistan Brick Kiln Owners Association which was necessary for the successful adaptation and penetration of the technology. His efforts have been acknowledged under the Emerging Pakistan initiative of the Ministry of Commerce, Government of Pakistan. The promotional clip on “Brick kilns and Pakistan’s green revolution” is available on its official you tube channel. Similarly, acknowledgement has also been given by the ICIMOD. He has also technically contributed in the preparation of the zig zag kilns operational manual in Urdu which the association has circulated among the kiln owners across Pakistan for wide scale adoption of technology which proved helpful in training of the skilled labor.

 

With the support from President & General Secretary of All Pakistan Brick Kiln Owners Association, he played a leading role to intact and align the kiln owners specifically the Banu Ikram kiln who entrusted and showed great willingness and readiness to switch their conventional brick kilns to induced draft zig-zag pattern designs so that they can also contribute in mitigating GHG emissions. Operating the zig zag kilns need specific skill, training and understanding to achieve the desired quality output with fuel (coal) conservation. Mr. Asad along with the ICIMOD expert kept guiding the focal persons of the 1st zig zag kiln till it became successfully operational. The kiln is now acting as a model kiln and training center for other kiln owners and their labor. Now more kilns have been notified as model kilns in each district of Punjab.

 

Mr. Asad with the enabling environment through government notifications by MoCC, EPD Punjab and the main leading support from the Brick Association President for greening of brick kiln sector in Pakistan gave necessary impetus for quick transition towards environment friendly brick kilns. In a span of two years, 7986 brick kilns have already adopted zigzag firing technology as a whole or at least to the extent of installation of blowers, motors, variable frequency drives (VFDs) as reported by the Provincial Disaster Management Authority (PDMA) of the Government of Punjab in its daily SMOG Situation Report dated 02-05-2021.

Out of 12,000-14,000  brick kilns in Pakistan. Punjab has shifted its 7986 kilns to Zig Zag and brick kiln owners in other Provinces like Balochistan, KPK  and AJ&K have also started converting their conventional kilns to Zig Zag kilns due to the associated profit by getting extra high quality bricks and significant coal reduction per brick. Coal consumption by 7986 Operation brick conventional kilns @10 months(Million Tons Per Year)= 6.86-9.60 (@5000 Bricks Per Ton - 7000 Bricks per Ton). As per Energy Year Book of HDIP 2018-19 Coal Consumption by Brick Industry has been shown as 5.39 Million Tonnes. Taking the same output of 20,000 bricks/day as reference between average sized new and converted kilns the decrease in coal consumption shall be up to 55-60 percent provided high calorific value coal is used and the kiln is operated in an efficient manner. The conversion process has also triggered the demand for the skilled labor, motors, blowers fabricators and associated brick machinery which has generated green employment opportunities as well.

 

There are many other factors that contributed to this quick transition. Starting off with the training of the initial few kiln owners classroom/ onsite by ICIMOD & NEECA. The opportunity to network with brick associations of other regional countries in Federation of South Asian Brick Kilns Associations (FABKA) under ICIMOD also clarified the misconceptions related to the zig zag kilns. The owners felt that the proposed solution switching is easy and there would be no such requirement for a very high budget to retrofit. Subsequently, continuous technical support from NEECA, ICIMOD and facilitation from EPA and MoCC kept the ball rolling.

 

Besides this, Mr. Asad has played a pivotal role in drafting and the approval process of the National Energy Efficiency and Conservation Act of Pakistan. The legislation has opened new doors / avenues for promoting, implementing and achieving Energy Efficiency and Conservation in the country, under a legal umbrella. . His untiring efforts with the support of relevant stakeholders led to development and successful launch of the energy efficiency standards for domestic electric appliances and labeling regime through NEECA in Pakistan which has given the consumers an informed choice to buy energy efficient products like fans.

 

As an eminent energy efficiency expert/trainer, he has conducted numerous onsite and classroom based customized and general result oriented trainings on various topics pertaining to energy efficiency, mitigation and clean technologies for industrial professionals, university and school students across Pakistan and introduced the topic of energy audits through Pakistan Engineering Council in the Engineering Universities. His devoted services for Energy Efficiency have been recognized by the Renewable & Alternative Energy Association of Pakistan (REAP).

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