Earth Day: Vedanta Aluminium accelerates shift to renewables

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deploys biomass for power generation

New Delhi : Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium,ismakingits fuel mix more sustainable with the deployment of biomass briquettes for power generation.The company is now utilizing 20 tonnes of biomass briquettes per day at its world-class alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, Odisha. This will helppotentially decrease the unit’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent each year, in addition to reducing its reliance on fossil fuels. On the occasion of Earth Day 2024, this comes as a significant step forward in the company’s journey to achieve Net Zero Carbon by 2050 or sooner.

The biomass briquettes are made from agricultural residue sourced from local farmers, who would otherwise simply burn it leading to severe environmental pollution. While fosteringcircular economy, Vedanta Aluminium is also augmenting farmers’ incomes in their areas of operations through this initiative by remunerating farmers for their crop stubble.A similar initiative has been rolled out previously at BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer and a unit of Vedanta Aluminium based at Korba, Chhattisgarh. Further, the company has enteredinto long-term power delivery agreements to source 1335 MW of renewable energy to power its operations nation-wide.

Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Pranab Kumar Bhattacharyya, CEO – Alumina Business, Vedanta Ltd said, “As India works towards integrating cleaner and more sustainable energy systems, the strategic deployment of biomass co-firing within our operations can play a crucial role in achieving emission reduction goals and supporting rural economies.It forms a critical part of our strategy to evaluateemerging technologiestowards decarbonising our operations.”

On the occasion of Earth Day, the company organised focused awareness sessionsfor farmers at Jharsuguda, Odisha, under the aegis of its development project, Jeevika Samriddhi, which aims to boost income generation through more efficient methods of farming. The sessions offered insights into the preparation and usage of organic fertilisers for integrated nutrient and pest management.In addition, the company also organised a Waste to Wealth-themedmodel competition for children. It was an opportunity for the future stewards of the planet to showcase their innovative use of recyclable materials,such as old cloth, plastic utensils, carboardpieces and even coconut shells.

The companyhas also conducted trial runs of biodiesel as a ‘green’ fuel alternative for its fleet of commercial vehicles. In addition, it is the first to induct a 10-ton electric forklift within its operations,adding to India’s largest fleet of electric lithium-ion forklifts deployed at its plants in Odisha and Chhattisgarh.Vedanta Aluminiumhas committed to decarbonizing 100% of its Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) fleet by 2030, aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 7 (SDG7), which focusses on ensuring access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy and SDG 13, which aims to limit and adapt to climate change.

Vedanta Aluminium has committed to achieving Net Zero by 2050, adopting a two-fold strategy of reducing it carbon footprint by increasing operational excellence and increasing renewables in its energy mix, while alsooffsetting its carbon footprint through extensive afforestation efforts.Through its operations, the company is enabling wider global access to responsibly produced, high-quality aluminium to ensure a greener future for the planet. The key milestones achieved by the company in this journey are:

  • Reducing GHG emissions intensity by ~8% in FY23 over the FY21 baseline while increasing production by ~16%
  • Recycling over 15 billion litres of water across its operations during FY24
  • Achieving a noteworthy 11% reduction in water withdrawal from freshwater sources
  • Significant freshwater usage savings of 1.5 million cubic meters
  • Doubling waste utilization to 200% in FY23, boosting circular economy avenues
  • Collaborating on over 60 rural community water bodies restoration projects

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.37 million tonnes in FY24. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 1st in the S&P Global Corporate Sustainability Assessment 2023 world rankings for the aluminium industry, a reflection of its leading sustainable development practices. With its world-class aluminium smelters, alumina refinery and power plants in India, the company fulfils its mission of spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow. 

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