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Renewable energy, solar power and zero-liquid discharge, zero-waste solutions to become the norm in future for mining and metals industry: Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State in Steel & Rural Development

Sep 29, 2021

  • Government of India funding projects on energy saving technologies and carbon reduction 

NEW DELHI, 29 September 2021: Mr Faggan Singh Kulaste, Minister of State in Steel & Rural Development, Government of India, today said that the National Steel Policy 2017 envisages a globally competitive Indian steel industry in compliance with the world best practices on environment and sustainability. This growth brings challenges of environment sustainability and therefore, solutions and initiatives towards decarbonization and environment management would be the key drivers for industry going forward.

Addressing the webinar on Future of Indian Mining, Metals & Cement Industries- Decarbonization, Environment Management & Sustainable Solutions organized by FICCI, Mr Kulaste said, "Using energy-efficient methods to produce steel will not only reduce production costs but also improve competitiveness. This can be achieved through highly developed energy management systems and usage of the latest technologies in production process, to reduce our carbon footprint. Solutions like renewable energy, solar power and zero-liquid discharge, zero-waste approach would become the norm in the future," he said.

The Government of India, with an objective to enhance energy efficiency in the sector is aggressively funding the projects focussed upon energy saving technologies and carbon reduction, the Minister highlighted.

Mr Kulaste noted that the Indian industry has been adopting technologies to reduce associated CO2 emissions via Carbon Capture & Storage and Carbon Capture & Utilization.

"It is time that industry look forward towards solutions available to improve upon its carbon footprint and take big strides towards the decarbonization initiative. We can also look at national & international collaborations and technology transfers. The new emerging areas like use of natural gas, use of hydrogen, etc., also need to be explored so that Indian industries remain in pace with their global counterparts, Mr Kulaste further added.

Speaking at the event, Mr Satendra Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Mines, Govt of India said that the country is one of the largest consumer markets in the world with capacity to consume large amounts of consumables that are likely to have components that are coming from mining or metal sector.

"Most of the modern-day technology that is used in mining is either foreign or owned by foreign companies. Since the focus has now shifted to decarbonization and sustainability, the older methods and technologies may not be suitable. Newer technologies that are carbon free and environmentally sustainable present before us a good opportunity," he said.

Mr SK Roongta, Mentor, FICCI Non-Ferrous Metals Committee and Non-Executive Chairman, BALCO, noted that the Indian Mining industry lies at the core of the nation's economic development. "However, the sector is highly energy intensive because of large scale processing of raw materials involved at every stage of operation. The large level of energy requirement and emission of green-house gases like carbon dioxide, carbon mono oxide and oxides of sulphur, among others, are a major cause of environment pollution from the mining activities," he said.

Mr Alok Mehta, Director- Commercial, NDMC, said that there is no denying that modernised businesses regard sustainable practices as a fundamental component of planning and development, and that they are incorporating these practices into their decision making. "For mining operations to effectively operate in the current environment, they need to take heed of social, environmental, and economic sustainability in mining," he said.

Mr VR Sharma, Co-Chair, FICCI Steel Committee and Managing Director, Jindal Steel & Power Ltd said that the world is working towards Green Energy and Green Fuel. "While India has witnessed many developments in this past decade, developments are yet to take place on a commercial level. Complete decarbonization will take a while, but we need to work on reducing our carbon footprints. Hybrid thinking is the need of the hour," he said.

Mr Harmit Singh Sethi, Co-Chair, FICCI Cement Committee and Executive Director & Group Head, Corporate Affairs & Incubation, Dalmia Bharat Group said that one-thirds of all CO2 emissions are man-made, and that industry must realise that clean and green is profitable and sustainable. Citing Dalmia Bharat Group's efforts towards reducing their carbon footprints, Mr Sethi informed that the company aims to be carbon-free by 2030.

Mr Karan Chadha, Head (Business Development-India), Fourth Partner Energy noted that being sustainable is a good business practice in the present times.

Mr Pankaj Satija, Co-Chair, FICCI Mining Committee, Senior Member, FICCI Steel Committee and Chief Regulatory Affairs, Tata Steel Ltd delivered the vote of thanks.

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