India's largest producer of aluminium Vedanta Aluminium has commissioned India's largest electric fleet of 27 forklifts, powered by lithium-ion batteries.
Done in partnership with Gemini Equipment and Rentals India, this feat sets the ball rolling on Vedanta Aluminium's plans to decarbonise its industrial vehicle fleet.
These electric forklifts make use of the cutting-edge system to help ensure the highest levels of safety at site, besides using Internet of Things technology to integrate the data collected by intelligent terminals and provide feed on a real-time basis.
All 27 forklifts arrived last month and are being operationalised at the company's aluminium smelter at Jharsuguda.
Some other advantages of this green fleet include a reduction in diesel consumption by more than 2.5 lakh litre annually, greenhouse gas emission savings of nearly 690 tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent.
Further, as testimony to its endeavours towards increasing gender diversity in core manufacturing operations, the company is recruiting and training women to operate these top-of-the-line forklifts.
The company has previously hired transgender employees as forklift operators in its aluminium operations at BALCO in Chhattisgarh.
"In line with our commitment of achieving Net Zero Carbon by 2050, our partnership with GEAR to deploy one of India's largest and most technologically advanced electric forklift fleets, is a strong step in our journey of decarbonising our industrial vehicle fleet. We are also leveraging this avenue to increase women's participation in core operations by training women drivers to operate these smart forklifts," said Rahul Sharma, CEO, Aluminium Business at Vedanta.
Varun Chopra, Executive Chairman of GEAR India, said: "Vedanta Aluminium's pioneering endeavour to commission India's largest fleet of technologically advanced forklifts undoubtedly serves as an inspiration for the Indian manufacturing industry to explore emerging technology solutions for achieving their sustainable development and Net Zero goals."
Vedanta Aluminium manufactures more than half of India's total aluminium output.