Bharat Aluminium Co. Ltd. (BALCO) is committed to reduce the impact of its activities on the environment through responsible use of natural resources and continuous improvement of processes. The Company effectively manages its Aluminium and Power Business whilst carrying out its activities in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. BALCO has always been a pioneer in the field of environmental protection. It endeavours to use technologies that are energy and water efficient, and also has adequate residue management systems in place. The focus has always been towards zero effluent discharge and reduction of pollution hazards. These efforts are being pursued on an increasingly greater scale, facilitated by extending targets in Business Plan and earmarking resources.
BALCO operations are approved by concerned authorities. Applicable statutory regulations are properly complied within BALCO units. There is a full-fledged Environment Team that works in co-ordination with operations for conducting environmental monitoring and control operations.
As a responsible Corporate Citizen, BALCO has undertaken some key initiatives to achieve its environmental objectives. The Company’s processes and performances in the areas of safety, health and environment have continued to develop. Effective control and delivery in all of these areas is a management imperative and is the subject of regular and detailed scrutiny at all levels of management. A process-based management system drives these Sustainable Development Processes.
Some significant steps undertaken by the Company in the direction of environment sustainability over the last few years have been discussed below.
Promotion of Renewable Energy
BALCO is constructing Bio-Gas. Plants in association with Chhattisgarh Renewable Energy Development Authority (CREDA) in order to reduce the dependency of villagers on forest firewood and also to make available an environment friendly, all season cooking gas. Till now, BALCO has constructed 169 Bio-Gas Plants in its operational villages.
- The Old Smelter has been phased out and environment friendly Point Feeder Prebaked Technology has been adopted for new as well upcoming smelters.
- This state-of-art technology comes with Dry Scrubbing Fume Treatment Plant ensuring that emissions are kept well within norms.
- New Power Plants have high efficiency Electrostatic Precipitators and High Concentration Slurry Disposal System for ash disposal, requiring very less amount of water.
- At Mainpat and Kawardha Captive Bauxite Mines, construction of check dams, garland drains, water bodies for rainwater harvesting, are few among the various activities carried out as part of the Company’s commitment towards environment.
- A Wild Life Conservation Plan of Rs 300 Lakhs, in consultation with The Forest Department of Chhattisgarh Government, is under implementation in South Surguja, Dharamjaigarh and Kawardha Forest Divisions.
- Every year massive plantation drives are carried out with the involvement of local people. As a result, a thick green belt has been developed in the Plant Area, Township, Mines and surrounding areas.
- BALCO generates millions of tonnes of Fly Ash every year from its Captive Power Plants, a significant part of which is supplied to local brick manufacturers, free of cost. BALCO has involved villagers in fly ash brick making and installed Brick Manufacturing Plants in two villages. Special training has been imparted to the villagers and they make their own livelihood by selling fly ash bricks in the local market.
- Zero water discharge process has been adopted at CPP-540 MW based on the principle of recycling of cooling tower overflow water and reuse of the ETP treated water. Concentrated efforts under this project yielded massive reduction in overall water consumption apart from spreading awareness as to how to conserve water resources effectively. The benefits that ensued are:
- Saving of chemicals with increase in COC of cooling water
- Enhanced life for Compressor and Chiller Coolers with circulation of treated water