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Vedanta Aluminium accelerates shift to renewables, deploys biomass for power generation on Earth Day

NEW DELHI, APRIL 22, 2024 (TBB BUREAU): Vedanta Aluminium, India’s leading aluminium producer, marked Earth Day 2024 with a significant stride towards sustainability by implementing biomass briquettes for power generation. The company has commenced the use of 20 tonnes of biomass briquettes per day at its state-of-the-art alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Odisha. This transition is expected to reduce the unit’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually, while also decreasing its dependency on fossil fuels.

The biomass briquettes, derived from agricultural residue procured from local farmers, serve a dual purpose of curbing environmental pollution caused by stubble burning and boosting rural economies. Vedanta Aluminium has initiated similar initiatives at BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer based in Korba, Chhattisgarh, further solidifying its commitment to sustainable practices.

Moreover, the company has secured long-term power delivery agreements for sourcing 1335 MW of renewable energy, powering its operations nationwide.

Speaking on the occasion, Pranab Kumar Bhattacharyya, CEO – Alumina Business, Vedanta Ltd, emphasized the strategic importance of biomass co-firing in achieving emission reduction goals and supporting rural economies amidst India’s transition to cleaner energy systems.

“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 evaluate emerging technologies towards decarbonising our operations,” added Bhattacharyya.

In conjunction with Earth Day, Vedanta Aluminium organised awareness sessions for farmers in Jharsuguda, under the Jeevika Samriddhi development project. These sessions aimed to enhance income generation through efficient farming methods and educated participants on organic fertilizers for integrated nutrient and pest management. Besides, the company hosted a Waste to Wealth-themed model competition for children, encouraging innovative use of recyclable materials. 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, carboard pieces and even coconut shells.

Vedanta Aluminium’s commitment to sustainability extends to its transportation fleet, with trial runs of biodiesel and the induction of a 10-ton electric forklift – a first in its operations. The company aims to decarbonize 100 per cent of its Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) fleet by 2030, aligning with UN Sustainable Development Goals 7 and 13.

With a pledge to achieve Net Zero by 2050, Vedanta Aluminium focuses on reducing its carbon footprint through operational excellence and increasing renewable energy adoption, complemented by extensive afforestation efforts. Through these endeavours, the company aims to facilitate global access to responsibly produced aluminium, fostering a greener future for the planet.

Throughout its journey, Vedanta Aluminium company has achieved significant milestones that reflect its commitment to sustainability and responsible operations. In FY23, the company successfully reduced greenhouse gas emissions intensity by approximately 8 per cent compared to the FY21 baseline, despite a notable increase in production by around 16 per cent. This achievement underscores its dedication to decoupling growth from environmental impact.

Moreover, during FY24, the company’s efforts in water conservation were noteworthy, with over 15 billion litres of water recycled across its operations. Vedanta Aluminium also achieved an impressive 11 per cent reduction in water withdrawal from freshwater sources, alongside substantial freshwater savings totalling 1.5 million cubic metres. Additionally, the company’s focus on waste management yielded promising results, with waste utilization doubling to 200 per cent in FY23, contributing significantly to circular economy initiatives. Furthermore, its commitment to community engagement and environmental stewardship is exemplified by its collaboration on over 60 rural community water bodies restoration projects, demonstrating dedication to making a positive impact beyond its operational boundaries.

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