Spent $74.5 million to mitigate pollution issues at Tuticorin plant: Vedanta

By: |
Published: July 13, 2019 1:20:27 AM

Vedanta further informed the shareholders that the company has challenged the closure order through an appeal before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

The plant is equipped with comprehensive air pollution control measures and robust solid waste management systems and facilities.The plant is equipped with comprehensive air pollution control measures and robust solid waste management systems and facilities.

Vedanta has said that it has invested $74.5 million to mitigate environmental issues at its copper smelter plant in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu, currently under closure since March 2018.

The company has said that it is continuously engaging with all stakeholders, including the state government and courts, for a smooth restart of its copper plant operations in Tuticorin.

In its message to shareholders, Vedanta said the business has spent over $74.5 million on environmental mitigation. In particular, flue gas desulphurisation units with bag filters, and modern technology-based reverse osmosis plants and evaporators, are among several state-of-the-art environmental protection measures. Since March 2018, the plant has been shut by order of the Tamil Nadu State government.

“We regret the tragic loss of 13 lives in the demonstrations in Tuticorin and we will continue to engage with the state government, relevant authorities, the courts and all stakeholders to enable the safe and supported restart of operations at the copper smelter at Tuticorin,” said Srinivasan Venkatakrishnan, chief executive officer of Vedanta, in the company’s annual report.

The Tuticorin copper smelter, operated by Vedanta’s Sterlite Copper business, ranks as one of the largest custom copper smelters in India and is among the largest producers of copper rods in the country. With a design capacity of 400,000 tonne, the business held a 33% market share of the country’s refined copper demand of around 675,000 tonne in FY18. The facilities include a custom smelter, a refinery, a phosphoric acid plant, a sulphuric acid plant and a copper rod plant.

The plant is equipped with comprehensive air pollution control measures and robust solid waste management systems and facilities. It has also been able to claim ‘zero liquid discharge’ since inception; all the effluent is treated and recycled back into operations. The solid waste from effluent treatment plants is disposed in secure landfill, designed in accordance with the Central Pollution Control Board guidelines.

Vedanta further said that the smelter’s water consumption is the second-lowest in the world at 6.0m3 per mt of cathode. With a 20% reduction in specific water usage since FY2014, it has been recognised over recent years for its excellence in water efficiency by Ficci, UNESCO, CII and other organisations. Emissions of sulphur dioxide are well below the prescribed standards and are at par with several European and Japanese smelters. With the continuous endeavour to conserve energy, the plant ranks No 7 in energy intensity among global smelters.

Vedanta further informed the shareholders that the company has challenged the closure order through an appeal before the National Green Tribunal (NGT).

Following the appeal, a three-member independent committee, set up by the NGT, set aside an order for closure by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. The NGT ruled that the order for closure by the Tamil Nadu government was ‘non-sustainable’ and ‘unjustified’. The matter is currently being heard before the Madras High Court as per the directions of the Supreme court.

Reaffirming the commitment to the local people of Thoothukudi, the company has announced a Rs 100-crore investment in social infrastructure plans. The vision includes a clean and green community with the planting of one million trees, high-quality education delivered through a fine and well-equipped school, a world-class hospital, a desalination plant and youth development schemes. The company remains continuously engaged with the local community and would like to prosper with them, it added.

Get live Stock Prices from BSE and NSE and latest NAV, portfolio of Mutual Funds, calculate your tax by Income Tax Calculator, know market’s Top Gainers, Top Losers & Best Equity Funds. Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

FinancialExpress_1x1_Imp_Desktop