In a new measure, the Vedanta-owned Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (Balco), in Chhattisgarh's power hub Korba, has begun greening its fuel mix for thermal power generation with biomass briquettes—a move that has the potential to minimise the detrimental effect of using fossil fuels.
The company is utilising around 50 tonnes of biomass briquettes daily to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and will further increase the quantum of biomass consumption.
Balco hopes to decrease its greenhouse gas emissions by 4.3 lakh tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually, which is seen as an important step towards achieving the aluminium giant’s goal of net zero carbon by 2050.
As the biomass briquettes have been made from agriculture residues as per the guidelines of the Ministry of Power, the move also serves to curb the burning of agricultural remnants which have a harmful impact on the environment. With the added benefits of fostering a circular economy, the initiative further contributes towards increasing farmers’ income in the region as the agrarian community can sell their agro-waste profitably.
Abhijit Pati, CEO & director of Balco, said: “There remains a greater need to be an active participant towards sustainable growth of the country. Such initiatives aim to achieve a larger goal of creating a greener tomorrow and a sustainable future for the generations to come. Balco is committed to it by undertaking a multitude of initiatives to reduce our carbon footprint.”
Pulkit Saxena, the director of Bhoomi Agro Produce Pvt - one of the suppliers of biomass briquettes to Balco - said: “The use of such green fuels will have a positive impact on the environment as well as to the agro-waste value chain, which includes small and marginal farmers. The initiative can emerge as a good precedent for others to replicate and turn many as climate-conscious”.
Working towards its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria goals, Balco has recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Visvesvaraya National Institute of Technology (VNIT) Nagpur for using their green concrete solution for road construction. Striving to achieve the goal of 100 percent fly ash (a by-product of thermal power generation using coal) utilisation, the company is also supplying conditioned fly ash through railway rakes to the cement manufacturers.