Vedanta Aluminium’s thermal engineers drive excellence at one of India’s largest power operations

With over 5,500 thermalengineers and experts within its power division, the company has a massive, dedicated workforcecatering to its energy needs

New Delhi : Vedanta Aluminium, the largest aluminium 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 aluminium 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. Aluminium 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 Vedanta Aluminium’s extensive power needs are met througha consistent and stable supply of thermal energy, helping it cater to the nation’s needs.The company’spower plants also providecritical power to the state electricity gridsthrough designated power plant units.

On the occasion of National Thermal Engineers Day, Vedanta Aluminium recognizes the importance of nurturing and empowering thesethermal 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, Indiawas 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 achieveincreased resource efficiencies, reduced water consumption, an overall improvement in power plant efficiency, and enhanced asset management. This tech-led transformation is athree 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 recentlyaugmented its Jharsuguda power plant operationswith 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 600MW 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 nowclosely monitoring coal logistics to ensure consignmentsafety 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 aluminium 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. Mr. Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business also said, “We are increasingly also making renewable energy a part of our power portfolio, enabling us to produce India’s firstlow carbon, ‘green’ aluminium, 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,Mr. Sunil Kumar Satya, CEO – Power, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business said, “Energy security is a vital benchmark of a country’s progress, and thermal engineers play a crucial role in ensuring its achievement. 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 thecountry’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 andcontributeto India’s energy security.”

Withthis close focus on ensuring excellence, Vedanta Aluminium’s operations have witnessed exceptional growth and achievements.With each of its business units being recognised as a ‘Great Place To Work’ several timesover, 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.

Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, is India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of India’s aluminium i.e., 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. It is a leader in value-added aluminium products that find critical applications in core industries. Through its world-class operations, the company is spurring emerging applications of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.


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