Vedanta Aluminium Business, India’s largest producer of
aluminium and value-added products, has signed an agreement with GEAR (Gemini
Equipment and Rentals Private Limited) India, to deploy one of the largest
fleets of lithium-ion battery-powered electric forklifts, becoming the first in
Indian aluminium industry to undertake such an initiative.
The company shall commission23 such forklifts in a phased
manner over the next few months at its aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda, Odisha,
which is one of the world’s largest single-location aluminium smelters.
Substituting diesel-fuelled forklifts with this green fleet will reduce diesel
consumption by more than 2.5 lakh litres annually, thereby ensuring GHG
(greenhouse gas) emission savings of nearly 690 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.
Vedanta Aluminium currently operates a large fleet of
forklifts for finished goods handling, material movement, etc. The new
lithium-ion forklifts will help maximise productivity of operations by enabling
longer working cycles via rapid charging. What’s unique about the lithium-ion
batteries is that they avoid the hassles of frequent battery change and have a
substantially longer life than conventional lead-acid batteries, while being
virtually maintenance-free, as they are completely sealed.
These forklifts make use of the cutting-edge ‘Smart Fleet
Management’ system to help ensure the highest levels of safety at site. The
Smart Fleet Management system uses IOT (Internet of Things) technology to
integrate the data collected by intelligent terminals and provide Vedanta
Aluminium insights on a real-time basis with respect to forklift speed, access
to operate, collision avoidance, optimization analysis for operational
efficiency and equipment maintenance, among others. Further, these electric forklifts
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 automatic deceleration mechanism while
turning, for enhanced safety.
Speaking about the partnership, Rahul Sharma, CEO – Aluminium Business,
Vedanta Limited, noted, “Vedanta Aluminium is committed to achieving Net Zero
Carbon emissions by 2050. Our partnership with GEAR to deploy one of India’s
largest and most advanced electric forklift fleets, is in line with our
endeavour towards leveraging the power of innovation and technology to make our
operations future-ready. In addition to reducing carbon footprint, this
initiative uses cloud computing to provide real-time analytics to enhance
productivity and further bolster our people’s safety.”
Executive Chairman of GEAR India, added, “Vedanta Aluminium’s endeavour to
replace fossil-fuelled heavy vehicles with technologically-advanced lithium-ion
forklifts at such a mammoth scale is a praiseworthy move. It is our privilege
to be Vedanta’s partner in this pioneering venture, which will go a long way
towards decarbonizing their industrial vehicle fleet. This will serve as an
inspiration for the Indian manufacturing industry to explore emerging
technology solutions for achieving their Net Zero vision.”
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