Sustainability on mind: Vedanta Aluminium turns back on coal-fired capacity, embracing renewable energy for metal production

AL Circle

According to a recent report, John Slaven, CEO of Vedanta Limited, said that its aluminium business would no longer indulge in adding coal-fired capacity for energy-intensive metal production as a move towards renewable energy. The aim is to increase the share of renewable energy to 30 per cent by 2030 from 5 per cent at present, asserted John Slaven in an interview with Reuters, adding that the company currently has 4.8 gigawatts of coal-based power generation capacity. 

Sustainability on mind: Vedanta Aluminium turns back on coal-fired capacity, embracing renewable energy for aluminium production

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Slaven also said that Vedanta secured supplies of 1.3 GW of renewable energy – a mix of solar and wind power – from India's Serentica Renewables. Vedanta's primary focus is to shift its power usage to renewable energy for aluminium production to reduce carbon footprint across its operations. "We don't want to add additional thermal power. We have got to really increase our renewables, so that's the focus," Slaven said.

Vedanta's spokesperson said India's other major aluminium producers, like Hindalco Industries, also plan to rely on renewable power for any new capacity additions at their smelters. 

In order to meet the country's strong domestic demand for aluminium, Vedanta is already planning to enhance its production capacity. With strong economic growth buoying aluminium demand, India's future aluminium market looks more promising than Vedanta's top export destinations such as Southeast Asia, Japan, North America and South America. 

Industries like construction, electrical transmission, wind and solar power, and automobiles would keep the country's aluminium demand strong, according to Slaven. AL Circle’s report: “Global Aluminium Industry – Outlook 2024” also rightly pointed out that renewable energy sector would be a new entry in the top demand drivers list for aluminium (solar & wind turbines) in Indian and abroad.

Vedanta expects its aluminium production capacity to grow to 3 million tonnes by 2026 from about 2.4 million tonnes now. Simultaneously, Vedanta will also boost its refining capacity to 6 million tonnes by 2026 from the present 2 million tonnes. Vedanta also expects to get environmental clearances for its first wholly-owned bauxite mine in eastern India this year that would further help the company achieve its alumina and aluminium expansion plans.  

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