London-based metals miner Vedanta Ltd. and American multinational conglomerate General Electric Company (GE) jointly announced yesterday that they have agreed to place GE’s digital smelter technology in Vedanta’s Jharsuguda smelter in an effort at improving the site’s productivity and efficiency.
The partnership between the two firms is the first such installation at any aluminium smelter in the country, noted the statement. Vedanta is installing the digital twin technology as part of a broader corporate initiative to incorporate digital technology more widely throughout the firm. The installation at Jharsuguda is expected to lead to a substantial reduction in power consumption.
Ajay Kapur, CEO (aluminium & power business) of Vedanta Ltd, noted other benefits to the company by using such technology.
“Being the largest producer of aluminium in India, with an extensive value-added product portfolio, this partnership with GE will help us enhance sustainability and bring in more predictability to our business.”
Mahesh Palashikar, president & CEO, GE South Asia, expressed his firm’s satisfaction at entering into a partnership with one of India’s biggest aluminium smelters.
“We are proud to support Vedanta’s efforts to drive operational excellence across its aluminium smelter plants which will include advanced data analytics to model plant assets and deliver process advisories to enhance business outcomes.”
The companies say a reduction in specific consumption of just one percent through digital smelter technology can translate into as much as US$5 million per annum of cost savings per million metric tons at the smelter.
Furthermore, digital smelter technology is forecast to lead to better utilization of raw materials, longer smelter life, better operational efficiency, increased safety, and less waste.
The firms did not set a date for implementation of the technology in the press release. Jharsuguda aluminium smelter produced 1.39 million metric tons of primary aluminium in the previous fiscal year, and plans are in the works to increase its nameplate capacity to 2 million metric tons per annum in the near future.