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Green fuel push by Balco for thermal plant, fuel mix with biomass briquettes


RAIPUR: In a new measure, the Vedanta-owned Bharat Aluminium Company Limited (Balco), in Chhattisgarh's power hub Korba, has begun greenifying its fuel mix for thermal power generation with biomass briquettes—a move having the potential to minimise the detrimental effect of using the fossil fuel.

The company is utilising around 50 tons of biomass briquettes daily to reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and will further increase the quantum of biomass consumption.

With the green environment initiative given a push, the organisation hopes to decrease Balco’s Greenhouse Gas emission by 4.3 lakh tons of CO2 equivalent annually, which is seen as a strong stride towards achieving the Aluminium giant’s 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 possess 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 gets to sell their agro-waste profitably.

“There remains a greater need to be an active participant towards sustainable growth of the country. Such initiative aims 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”, said Abhijit Pati, CEO & Director (Balco).

The director of Bhoomi Agro Produce Pvt. Ltd, one of the suppliers of biomass briquettes to Balco, Pulkit Saxena 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, the 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 per cent 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.