Vedanta Aluminium’s Smelter becomes industry benchmark in water efficiency

Reduces Specific Water Consumption by 11% in FY22

Bhubaneswar, 6th September 2022: Vedanta Aluminium, India’s largest producer of aluminium, is proud to declare that its Aluminium Smelter-I at Jharsuguda (Odisha) has emerged as a national benchmark in water efficiency amongst aluminium smelters in India. The smelter has substantially reduced its Specific Water Consumption (water consumed per unit of metal produced) by around 11% in FY22 over the previous fiscal, while producing more than 17,400 tonnes of aluminium over FY21.

Vedanta Aluminium’s Jharsuguda operations house one of the world’s largest aluminium smelting complexes, with two state-of-the-art aluminium smelters. Its Smelter-II (SEZ) has reduced its Specific Water Consumption by around 8% in FY22, while increasing production by nearly 2 lakh tonnes. On the whole, the site has recycled around 5 billion litres of water for inhouse consumption in the last fiscal. This is a significant step in the company’s commitment to turn its operations Net Water Positive by 2030.

Speaking about the company’s water management endeavours, Mr. Sunil Gupta, CEO – Vedanta Ltd., Jharsuguda, said, “Our water management endeavours are aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 6 of Clean Water & Sanitation. We, at Vedanta Jharsuguda, are on a mission to minimize our water footprint, while supporting the local communities in their water-related requirements and helping maintain the ecological balance. Emerging as the national benchmark in specific water consumption heartens and motivates us to redouble our efforts in this direction. Our journey towards making our operations water positive will ensure sustainability of our business and make available more water for local communities and biodiversity.”

Water management is an integral part of Vedanta Aluminium’s aspirations of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) excellence. It is underscored by the governing principle of Zero Liquid Discharge, which ensures that all liquid generated at its operations is contained, processed and reused inside the plant itself. Vedanta Aluminium follows a 4-pillared approach to sustainable water management, which includes:

1.    Monitoring water usage:

o   Water management is integrated into the decision-making processes for all projects

o   Water-related risk assessments have been carried out to identify degree of water stress, and accordingly, mitigation measures are undertaken .

All water quality parameters, including reduction of specific water consumption, are strictly monitored

2.    Ensuring maximum water reutilization:

Stringent control measures and technologies adopted to ensure zero discharge operations

High-Concentration Slurry Disposal (HCSD) system deployed for ash management to ensure maximum water recycling through feedback loops

Operational excellence in Cooling Tower systems have resulted in one of the best Cycles of Concentration (COC) globally; higher the COC, less is the additional freshwater intake

3.    Creating a positive water footprint:

Partnership with TÜV SÜD, a global leader in sustainability solutions, for creating the roadmap for Vedanta Aluminium to become net water positive

Rainwater harvesting infrastructure and on-site water reservoirs created for water sourcing during contingency scenarios

4.    Enabling communities’ access to water and climate-smart agriculture:

o   Training communities on growing climate-resilient crops for improving yield in the face of irregular climactic conditions

o   Helping farmers adopt drip-irrigation, treadle pump, solar powered water pumps, rainwater harvesting structures, etc. to boost irrigation potential

o   Building and rejuvenating hundreds of community water infrastructures like tube wells, bore wells, ponds, farm ponds, percolation tanks, etc. to help communities get perennial access to water for household and irrigation purposes

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.26 million tonnes in FY22. The company operates a world-class 1.75 MTPA aluminium smelter and 3615 MW thermal power generation facility at Jharsuguda, in Odisha. The only Indian smelter in the global ‘1 Million Tonne’ production and export club, Vedanta Jharsuguda is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications across core industries. With its state-of-the-art facilities, unparalleled engineering prowess, R&D and innovation abilities, the company is working towards a sustainable and greener future for all by spurring emerging applications of aluminium, the ‘Metal of the Future’.

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