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Vedanta Aluminium expands India’s largest fleet of electric forklifts


NEW DELHI, JULY 06, 2023

Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, now hosts India’s largest fleet of electric lithium-ion forklifts, with a total of 44 units now deployed across its operations in Odisha and Chhattisgarh. The company has also recently commissioned India’s first 10-ton electric lithium-ion forklift at its mega aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda in Odisha.

Besides, it has also inducted 3-ton and 5-ton electric forklifts for the first time ever at its world-class alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Odisha and also at its subsidiary BALCO, India’s iconic aluminium producer based at Korba in Chhattisgarh.

This move greatly bolsters the sustainable nature of Vedanta Aluminium’s operations. Undertaken in collaboration with GEAR (Gemini Equipment and Rentals Private Limited) India and TARON Lift & Move, it comes as a significant step forward by Vedanta Aluminium towards decarbonizing its industrial vehicle fleet. With their faster and safer battery charging capabilities, these forklifts revolutionize operational efficiency while making substantial contributions to reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption, ultimately contributing to Vedanta Aluminium’s goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

The introduction of electric lithium-ion forklifts helps mitigate the company’s carbon footprint significantly through a potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually; and substantial reduction in diesel consumption, with estimated savings of over 5.1 lakh litres per annum.

The company has also committed to decarbonizing 100 per cent of its Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) fleet by 2030 and 75 per cent of its mining fleet by 2035. In FY23, Vedanta Aluminium emerged as a pioneer for the domestic manufacturing industry by inducting 27 forklifts at its plant in Jharsuguda, among the largest aluminium smelters in the world. This emerged as the largest EV forklift fleet in the country at the time, and the company has further expanded the fleet size across all its plants to 44 units this year, greatly encouraged by the significant decarbonization benefits accrued as a result of the first fleet. This effort stands testimony to the company’s constant endeavour to evaluate and deploy emerging technologies towards decarbonising its operations.

To ensure enhanced safety and efficiency in operations, these forklifts are enabled with an IOT-based ‘Smart Fleet Management’ system. This cutting-edge technology allows for the real-time monitoring of forklift performance, enabling predictive maintenance and ensuring the highest safety standards on-site. Further, they are equipped with forward and reverse cameras ensuring complete visibility to the operators, red-zone light and blue spotlights that create a safe operating zone around the forklift, as well as an automatic deceleration mechanism while turning, for enhanced safety. To further its efforts towards increasing gender diversity in core manufacturing operations, the company is also training women and transgender professionals as experts in operating these top-of-the-line forklifts.

Sharing the significance of this development, Vedanta Ltd.-Aluminium Business CEO Sunil Gupta said, “At Vedanta Aluminium, we continue to explore and implement innovative practices to enhance our sustainability performance while also producing the best quality of aluminium. We are dedicated to the mission of promoting ESG excellence, which forms the foundation of all our business endeavours. Our partnerships with leading technological providers have enabled us to pioneer sustainable material handling practices in the industry. The commissioning of India’s first 10-ton electric lithium-ion forklift comes as a reaffirmation of our commitment to accelerating the transition to a Net Zero future.”

Expressing his views on the partnership with Vedanta Aluminium, GEAR India Executive Chairman Varun Chopra said, “We are delighted to partner with Vedanta Aluminium in their sustainability journey. GEAR, a leader in sustainable material handling solutions is proud to be a partner in Vedanta Aluminium’s decarbonisation journey. The commissioning of India’s first 10-ton electric lithium-ion forklift, part of the 41 units of Zero Emission Lithium-ion Forklifts that we have deployed at Vedanta Jharsuguda and BALCO is a remarkable achievement. It highlights our shared commitment to advancing clean and efficient electric mobility and material handling solutions.”

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Vedanta Aluminium ranks 2nd in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for aluminium industry, a reflection of its 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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