KOLKATA: Hindalco Industries, one of the country’s largest private aluminium players has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with cement major UltraTech Cement to deliver 1.2 million tonne of bauxite residue, red mud in industry parlance, annually to UltraTech’s 14 plants across seven states.
With this deal, Hindalco has become the world’s first aluminium company to achieve 100% red mud utilisation across three of its refineries. The initiative is in line with the company’s objective of achieving a sustainability-first approch to business. It will help Hindalco achieve a circular economy where waste of one industry us used as an input in another industry.
Speaking to ET Satish Pai, Managing Director, Hindalco, said: “We have been working with cement companies to develop high-grade inputs for the construction industry. We have achieved 100% red mud utilisation at three of our refineries and our vision is to achieve zero-waste alumina production across our operations.” The International Aluminium Association has also identified Hindalco as the lead player in its global task force on red mud, Pai added.
Red mud generated in the alumina manufacturing process is rich in iron oxides, along with alumina, silica and alkali. The cement industry has developed the capability to process red mud as a replacement for mined minerals such as laterite and lithomarge in its process.
Hindalco is supplying red mud to UltraTech Cement plants where it has been proved to be an effective substitute for mined materials, successfully replacing up to 3% of clinker raw mix vol-ume. Use of red mud reduces the cement industry’s dependence on natural resources and promotes a circular economy.
Hindalco’s alumina refineries are currently supplying 250,000 metric tonnes of bauxite residue to cement companies every month, making Hindalco the world’s first company to have en-abled such large scale commercial application of bauxite residue. In the current year, Hindalco which generates 4-5 million tonne of red mud annually, aims to achieve 2.5 million tonne of bauxite residue utilisation.
Hindalco has built a strong customer base and supplies red mud to over 40 cement plants every month. “Hindalco’s actions underscore our commit-ment to embracing solutions that have the potential to deliver long-term sustainability impact and transform the future,” Pai added.
Globally, 160 million tonne of red mud is produced annually and stored in large tracts of land which poses a serious industry challenge.To find a sustainable solution, Hindalco has invested in infrastructure and collaborated with cement companies, UltraTech Cement being a key partner.