Vedanta Aluminium, the leading aluminium producer in India, has expanded its electric lithium-ion forklift fleet, establishing itself as the country’s largest fleet. With a remarkable total of 44 units now operational in Odisha and Chhattisgarh, Vedanta Aluminium demonstrates its commitment to sustainability. Notably, the company has recently introduced India’s inaugural 10-ton electric lithium-ion forklift at its immense aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda, Odisha. Moreover, Vedanta Aluminium has also integrated 3-ton and 5-ton electric forklifts for the first time at its esteemed alumina refinery in Lanjigarh, Odisha, as well as at BALCO, its subsidiary and renowned aluminium producer located in Korba, Chhattisgarh.
Vedanta Aluminium’s latest initiative in collaboration with GEAR (Gemini Equipment and Rentals Private Limited) India and TARON Lift & Move marks a significant leap forward in the company’s sustainability efforts. By expanding its electric forklift fleet, Vedanta Aluminium takes a substantial stride towards decarbonizing its industrial vehicle operations. These electric forklifts, equipped with advanced battery charging capabilities that are faster and safer, not only revolutionize operational efficiency but also play a crucial role in reducing carbon emissions and fuel consumption. This bold move aligns with Vedanta Aluminium’s overarching goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050, solidifying its commitment to a sustainable future.
The introduction of electric lithium-ion forklifts helps mitigate the company’s carbon footprint significantly, through:
- A potential reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 1,600 tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually. The 10-ton forklift alone decreases emissions up to 85 tonnes of CO2 per year/vehicle per annum
- Substantial reduction in diesel consumption, with estimated savings of over 5.1 lakh litres per year
The company has also committed to decarbonizing 100% of its Light Motor Vehicle (LMV) fleet by 2030 and 75% of its mining fleet by 2035. In FY23, Vedanta Aluminium emerged as a pioneer for the domestic manufacturing industry by inducting 27 forklifts at its plant in Jharsuguda, among the largest aluminium smelters in the world. This emerged as the largest EV forklift fleet in the country at the time, and the company has further expanded the fleet size across all its plants to 44 units this year, greatly encouraged by the significant decarbonization benefits accrued as a result of the first fleet. This effort stands testimony to our constant endeavour to evaluate and deploy emerging technologies towards decarbonising our operations.
To ensure enhanced safety and efficiency in operations, these forklifts are enabled with an IOT-based ‘Smart Fleet Management’ system. This cutting-edge technology allows for the real-time monitoring of forklift performance, enabling predictive maintenance and ensuring the highest safety standards on-site. Further, they are equipped with forward and reverse cameras ensuring complete visibility to the operators, red-zone light and blue spotlights that create a safe operating zone around the forklift, as well as an automatic deceleration mechanism while turning, for enhanced safety. To further its efforts towards increasing gender diversity in core manufacturing operations, the company is also training women and transgender professionals as experts in operating these top-of-the-line forklifts.
Sharing the significance of this development, Mr. Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Ltd.- Aluminium Business, said “At Vedanta Aluminium, we continue to explore and implement innovative practices to enhance our sustainability performance while also producing the best quality of aluminium. We are dedicated to the mission of promoting ESG excellence, which forms the foundation of all our business endeavours. Our partnerships with leading technological providers have enabled us to pioneer sustainable material handling practices in the industry. The commissioning of India’s first 10-ton electric lithium-ion forklift comes as a reaffirmation of our commitment to accelerating the transition to a Net Zero future.”
Mr. Varun Chopra, Executive Chairman of GEAR India, expressed his enthusiasm regarding the partnership with Vedanta Aluminium, stating, “We are thrilled to join hands with Vedanta Aluminium on their sustainability path. As a frontrunner in sustainable material handling solutions, GEAR takes immense pride in being a part of Vedanta Aluminium’s decarbonization journey. The successful implementation of India’s first 10-ton electric lithium-ion forklift, alongside the deployment of 41 Zero Emission Lithium-ion Forklifts at Vedanta Jharsuguda and BALCO, is a significant milestone. This achievement underscores our shared commitment to promoting clean and efficient electric mobility and material handling solutions.”
Vedanta Aluminium, a subsidiary of Vedanta Limited, holds the distinction of being India’s largest aluminium producer. In the fiscal year 2022-23, it manufactured an impressive 2.29 million tonnes of aluminium, accounting for over half of India’s total production. The company takes pride in its leadership position in value-added aluminium products, which play a crucial role in various core industries. This commitment to sustainable practices has earned Vedanta Aluminium the 2nd rank in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index (DJSI) 2022 world rankings for the aluminium industry, a testament to its dedication to sustainable development. With state-of-the-art aluminium smelters, an alumina refinery, and power plants located in India, Vedanta Aluminium actively drives the adoption of aluminium as the ‘Metal of the Future’ in emerging applications, contributing to a greener tomorrow