BALCO explores biodiesel application for various plant operations
Balconagar; 14th December, 2022: Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (BALCO), India’s iconic aluminium producer and a subsidiary of Vedanta Aluminium, is exploring applications of biodiesel across plant operations as part of its strategy to decarbonize operations. As a first step, the company is using it as fuel for technological vehicles used for transportation purposes across the plant. Biodiesel is a form of green fuel derived from organic matter which, when burned, has a significantly lower carbon footprint as compared to conventional, non-renewable fuels. This is yet another initiative in the company’s journey to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050 or sooner.
Energy conservation and increase in adoption of green fuels form the two most important pillars of BALCO’s journey of decarbonization. Towards this end, BALCO is looking at increasing the quantum of renewables in its energy mix through various sources of green fuels, such as renewable energy, biomass, biodiesel, etc. For instance, the company is currently utilizing 40-50 tonnes of biomass briquettes per day at its power plants and has plans to further increase the quantum of biomass consumption to reduce its reliance on fossil fuel. BALCO has also successfully conducted trial runs for using biodiesel in smelter operations for preheating molten metal (aluminium) carrying vehicles, called ‘ladles’, which transfer the hot metal in its molten state from its potlines to cast houses. A potline is a long building, or collection of buildings, located in a smelter and contains a series of ‘pots’, or large electrolytic cells, in which aluminium smelting is carried out. In FY 2022, through various energy conservation initiatives, BALCO has conserved nearly 22,000 GJ of energy.
Speaking about BALCO’s commitment towards decarbonizing its operations in the long term, Mr. Abhijit Pati, CEO & Director, BALCO, said, “BALCO is committed to be an active participant in the sustainable growth of Chhattisgarh and India at large. We are undertaking a multitude of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint. The successful beginning of using biodiesel in various parts of our operations encourages us to remain attuned to emerging technologies for reducing our carbon footprint. Through such initiatives we aim to achieve the larger goal of creating a sustainable future for the generations to come and we are dedicatedly driving the Environment, Social and Governance (ESG) dimensions of sustainability for building a greener tomorrow.”
Over the years, BALCO has been proactively working for environmental protection and energy conservation which has resulted in various recognitions like, National Energy Leaders Awards 2022 in Metal Sector at the CII 23rd National Award for Excellence in Energy Management. Declared as an Excellent Energy Efficient Unit for third time in a row by CII. BALCO has also been conferred with the prestigious IMC RBNQ Milestone Merits Recognition 2021 award.