Indian aluminium smelter Hindalco and India’s biggest cement and concrete firm UltraTech Cement Ltd. have entered into an agreement for Hindalco to supply 1.2 million metric tons of red mud to UltraTech’s 14 plants across India.
Per the firm, red mud is rich in alumina, silica, and alkali, making it well suited to use in the production of cement, as the industry has perfected a process for using those minerals as substitutes for laterite and lithomarge.
Red mud will replace around 3 percent of UltraTech’s clinker raw mix volume, which will help reduce the firm’s dependence upon natural resources. The move will also help develop a more circular economy in India.
Hindalco’s Managing Director Satish Pai says the agreement will help his firm is part of a greater push by the company to operate more sustainably.
“Hindalco has been working with cement companies to develop high-grade inputs for the construction industry. Hindalco has built a strong customer base and supplies red mud to over 40 cement plants every month. We have achieved 100 per cent red mud utilisation at three of our refineries and our vision is to achieve zero-waste alumina production across our operations. Hindalco’s actions underscore our commitment to embracing solutions that have the potential to deliver long-term sustainability impact and transform the future.”
“UltraTech has been among the early adopters in India on the use of alternative raw materials and fuels in manufacturing and invested to build storage, handling and processing facilities,” noted K.C. Jhanwar, Managing Director of UltraTech Cement. “Use of waste like red mud as an alternative raw material for manufacturing cement requires infrastructure and process modification to ensure a win-win for both business and the environment.”
To date, Hindalco has achieved a 100-percent red mud utilization at three of its plants. The firm currently ships 250 thousand metric tons per annum of red mud to a variety of cement companies, making it one of the biggest such suppliers on Earth.