Vedanta Aluminium’s Thermal Engineers Drive Excellence in India’s Power Operations

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Vedanta Aluminium's thermal engineers play a crucial role in maintaining peak performance in India's largest aluminium production facilities

Vedanta Aluminium, the largest aluminium producer in India, boasts an impressive captive thermal power portfolio of about 5500 MW, spread across Jharsuguda and Lanjigarh in Odisha, and BALCO in Korba, Chhattisgarh. Responsible for maintaining the extensive aluminium production at peak performance is Vedanta’s dedicated workforce of over 5,500 thermal engineers and technical staff, making it one of the largest pools of thermal power professionals in the country.

The continuous production of aluminium, the second most important metal globally, relies heavily on a non-stop supply of high-quality power. Vedanta Aluminium’s thermal engineers ensure a consistent and stable supply of thermal energy, allowing the company to cater to the nation’s energy needs and provide critical power to state electricity grids.

On the occasion of National Thermal Engineers Day, Vedanta Aluminium celebrates the significant role of these thermal engineers in driving progress in the sector and contributing to India’s energy safety and security. India’s energy sector’s robustness and its engineers’ expertise have been evident during the recent severe energy crisis in developed countries, where India ensured an uninterrupted power supply to billions of individuals and businesses.

Embracing Industry 4.0 and Web3 technologies, Vedanta Aluminium leads the adoption of smart manufacturing practices within the domestic industry. The company actively leverages artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), digital twins, and computer vision to achieve increased resource efficiencies, reduced water consumption, improved power plant efficiency, and enhanced asset management. This technology-driven transformation involves collaboration with established global players, emerging tech startups, and in-house digital experts and innovation cells.

One notable initiative includes augmenting the Jharsuguda power plant operations with IIoT-based devices within fabric filters in its stacks, enhancing emissions control. Other achievements include the successful renovation and modernization of 600MW units, performance overhauls of turbines, digitalization of coal handling, and predictive & prescriptive maintenance of boilers and turbines. With GPS-enabled tracking and machine learning models trained on near-real-time satellite imagery, the company monitors coal logistics closely, ensuring consignment safety and eliminating supply leakages.

Moreover, the company explores alternative fuels such as biomass and has successfully piloted low-carbon fuels at all its power plants. Sunil Gupta, COO, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business, stated, “We are increasingly making renewable energy a part of our power portfolio, enabling us to produce India’s first low 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.”

Sunil Kumar Satya, CEO – Power, Vedanta Limited – Aluminium Business, highlighted the vital role of thermal engineers in achieving energy security. He emphasized the company’s commitment to nurturing its workforce, providing an environment that fosters innovation and empowers them to shape the future of operations and contribute to India’s energy security.

Thanks to this focus on excellence and sustainability, Vedanta Aluminium has experienced remarkable growth and achievements. Recognized as a ‘Great Place To Work’ multiple times, the company is dedicated to strengthening its pool of thermal engineers through comprehensive training, exposure to the latest technologies, and industry-leading career growth opportunities. Vedanta Aluminium, a business of Vedanta Limited, proudly stands as India’s largest producer of aluminium, manufacturing more than half of the nation’s aluminium, reaching 2.29 million tonnes in FY23. The company excels in value-added aluminium products critical for core industries and is committed to advancing aluminium’s emerging applications as the ‘Metal of the Future’ for a greener tomorrow.

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