By Ajoy K. Das

Aiming to emerge as a leading producer of “green aluminum,” India’s Vedanta Aluminum Ltd. (VAL) has become the largest buyer of renewable energy in the first quarter of fiscal year 2021-2022 for its integrated metal refinery in eastern state of Odisha.

By increasing the share of renewable energy in its mix of energy intensive smelting operations, VAL has been able to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission by 21% with 2012 as the baseline and targets a reduction to 24% on 2012 baseline by end of 2025.

“Our sustainability imperatives are designed to fulfil our climate impact reduction targets, which are in complete alignment with the goals of the Paris agreement and Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) submitted to the Indian government,” VAL Deputy CEO Rahul Sharma said.

“To that end, our efforts have been toward adopting global best-practices in energy management and deploying advanced technologies to reduce our carbon footprint,” he said. “Our long-term strategy focuses on migrating to low carbon energy mix, with gradual shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy, to produce green aluminum.”

VAL has undertaken a project to ramp up capacity of the alumina refinery to 5 million metric tons per year (mt/y) from 2 million mt/y at present, which in turn would enable VAL to increase its aluminum smelting capacity to 3 million mt/y from 1.96 million mt/y metal production achieved in the 2020-2021 fiscal year.

He said the climate action initiatives of VAL resulted in energy conservation of 2 million gigajoules and 0.32 million mt of carbon dioxide emission reduction in fiscal year 2020-2021.