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

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

It could decrease GHG emissions by more than 10,000 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually

Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, is making its 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 help potentially 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 fostering circular 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 entered into long-term power delivery agreements to source 1335 MW of renewable energy to power its operations nationwide.

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 evaluate emerging technologies towards decarbonising our operations.”

On the occasion of Earth Day, the company organised focused awareness sessions for 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-themed model 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, cardboard pieces and even coconut shells.