Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Ltd and the largest aluminum producer in India, also has among the largest captive thermal power portfolios in India, with a massive capacity of about 5500 MW of thermal power spread across Jharsuguda and Lanjigarh in Odisha and BALCO in Korba, Chhattisgarh. The responsibility of keeping this complex and extensive aluminum production at peak performance has been entrusted to the company’s 5,500 thermal engineers and technical staff, who together comprise one of the largest pools of thermal power professionals in the country.
Aluminum is the second most important metal in the world today, and its production is a continuous process that relies on a non-stop supply of high-quality power. Together, they ensure that the company’s extensive power needs are met through a consistent and stable supply of thermal energy, helping it cater to the nation’s needs. The company’s power plants also provide critical power to the state electricity grids through designated power plant units.
On the occasion of National Thermal Engineers Day, Vedanta Aluminium recognizes the importance of nurturing and empowering these thermal engineers who drive the sector’s progress and contribute significantly to India’s energy safety and security. The robustness of the country’s energy sector and the expertise of its engineers is underscored by the fact that, during the severe energy crisis that recently engulfed several developed countries, India was able to ensure continued supply to billions of individuals and businesses.
Vedanta Aluminium is a strong proponent of Industry 4.0 and Web3 technologies to lead the adoption of smart manufacturing practices within the domestic industry. It is actively leveraging the possibilities of artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Industrial internet of things (IIoT), digital twins, computer vision, etc. to achieve increased resource efficiencies, reduced water consumption, an overall improvement in power plant efficiency, and enhanced asset management. This tech-led transformation is a three pronged effort through partnerships with (i) established global players, (ii) emerging tech startups, and (iii) in-house digital experts and innovation cells.
For example, it recently augmented its Jharsuguda power plant operations with Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT)-based devices within the fabric filters in its stacks, which helped enhance emissions control. Other noteworthy initiatives include the successful R&M (Renovation and Modernization) of its 600 MW units, performance overhauls of turbines, digitalization of coal handling, and predictive & prescriptive maintenance of boilers and turbines. By deploying GPS-enabled tracking and machine learning models trained on near-real-time satellite imagery, the company is now closely monitoring coal logistics to ensure consignment safety and eliminate any supply leakages. This keen focus on best-in-class technologies has allowed the company to ensure industry-best sustainability that have made it the 2nd most sustainable company in the global aluminum industry, according to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index rankings for 2022.
The company is also experimenting with alternate fuels such as biomass and has successfully piloted such low-carbon fuels at all its power plants. Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Limited - Aluminium Business, stated, “We are increasingly also making renewable energy a part of our power portfolio, enabling us to produce India’s first low carbon, ‘green’ aluminum, branded ‘Restora’ for global customers focused on ensuring the sustainable provenance of their raw materials. With a constant focus on the judicious management of resources and the phased integration of renewables into our energy mix, we are actively leading the industry’s transition to a Net Zero future.”
Commenting on the occasion, and stating that energy security is a vital benchmark of a country’s progress, and thermal engineers play a crucial role in ensuring its achievement, Sunil Kumar Satya, CEO - Power, Vedanta Limited - Aluminium Business, said, “At Vedanta Aluminium, our talented team of engineers are implementing tech-led interventions to optimize our processes. This mix of top-level talent backed by world-class technologies has resulted in perhaps the country’s most sustainable thermal operations. We are committed to nurturing our workforce of thermal engineers, providing an environment that fosters innovation and empowers them to shape the future of our operations and contribute to India’s energy security.”
With this close focus on ensuring excellence, Vedanta Aluminium’s operations have witnessed exceptional growth and achievements. With each of its business units being recognized as a ‘Great Place To Work’ several times over, the company is dedicated to strengthening its pool of thermal engineers through comprehensive training programs, exposure to the latest technologies, and industry-leading career growth opportunities.
For more information: www.vedantaaluminium.com