Hindustan Zinc to invest $1 billion to go green over 5 years
Hindustan Zinc Ltd (HZL), the world’s second-largest miner of zinc, lead and silver, will invest $1 billion over the next five years to turn its mining operations environment-friendly, chief executive Arun Misra said.
HZL is planning to expand its zinc, lead and silver mining capacity from 1.2 million tonnes to 1.5 million tonnes. The company currently deploys 600-700 underground mining equipment, which could go up to 900 after expansion, Misra said.
“Most of these equipment are run on either diesel or cable. So, we are trying on two sets of battery-operated equipment. In five years, all equipment that goes for replacement (nearly 200 equipment are replaced every year), we would induct only electric and battery-operated equipment, and that would see the mines being free from diesel consumption and have a low carbon footprint,” Misra said.
The company plans to charge these equipment with its captive capacity of 40MW of solar power and 275MW of wind power. “For India Inc. to move to net-zero, the government has to work out a favourable policy to help industries to transition. The need is real, and the timing is perfect. In fact, it should have been done yesterday. I am sure by 2035 I see at least 30% of India Inc. moving to renewable power consumption,” Misra said, adding all countries need to take their fair share in responding to climate change.
In India, while Reliance Industries Ltd plans to go net carbon zero by 2030, Aditya Birla Group’s Birla Carbon, a maker of carbon black, has targeted 2050. The Adani Group plans to triple its renewable power generation capacity over the next four years to 63% of its output from 21% now and turn its ports net carbon zero by 2025.
Net-zero means reducing greenhouse gas emissions as much as possible and then balancing out any further releases by absorbing an equivalent amount from the atmosphere, for instance, by planting trees.