What are the manufacturing capacities of JAL at present? How would you say you have evolved over the years?
Founded by Dr. Sitaram Jindal in 1968, Jindal Aluminium Limited is a pioneer in manufacturing aluminium products. We were the first to set aluminium downstream facility in India. From that day to today, with a total manufacturing capacity of 1.75 L metric tonnes per annum (MTPA), there’s been an outstanding level of innovation defining India’s aluminium downstream industry. At present, Jindal Aluminium is the largest producer of aluminium extruded and the second-largest producer of Aluminium flat-rolled products. It includes 1.25 L MTPA of Aluminium extrusion products 50,000 MTPA of Aluminium flat-rolled products.
We have grown by decades in the 70s, we were the first to produce 200mm irrigation tubings in the country, designed the first extrusion press of 750-ton capacity, in the 80 we commissioned two extrusion presses and another two in the 90s, in the same decade commissioned our first renewable energy project. At the same time, we became the first to receive the IS/ISO 9002:1994 certification in the Aluminium industry in India. The decade of the 2000s was again a remarkable journey witnessing India’s largest extrusion press at Jindal Aluminium. In 2013 we started the rolling division with 40,000 MTPA capacities and added another 10,000 MTPA in 2020. Adding the value-addition to our clients, we inaugurated one of India’s largest environment-friendly powder coating facilities in 2021.
What is the role of Aluminium in green applications for sustainable development?
Aluminium is an excellent metal making possible industrial growth with sustainable development. It is visible from the fact that 75 percent of Aluminium ever produced is still in use, while in some developed countries; the recycling rate is 90 percent. One factor that makes aluminum a truly durable metal is that it can be put back in a loop at the end of the product’s lifespan, maintaining the same quality level as virgin aluminium. It offers the same level of mechanical, physical, or chemical properties without compromising. Reusing aluminium needs only about 5 percent of the energy to recycle it than to produce the same quantity of virgin aluminium. Thus, besides having the smallest total carbon footprint among other competing materials, Aluminium is highly energy efficient. It is widely used in LEED-certified buildings; it makes EV possible and has a wide range of applications that balance sustainability and development simultaneously.
Can you elaborate on the role of the circular economy in the downstream aluminium sector? Define the role of Jindal Aluminium Limited in creating a circular ecosystem.
In recent years, efforts to reduce global warming have gathered pace, leading to the industry growing an appetite for environment-friendly metals. The role of a circular economy in the downstream sector is defined by the fact that aluminium-in-use is free of any quality degradation on being recycled and works wonders in extending the product lifecycle. The shift from linear chains to circular value cycles requires changes in consumption patterns and sustainable resource utilization, and aluminium fits in well to do so. Energy savings apart, recycling aluminium also reduces CO2 emissions. Studies indicate that this saving is around 95 percent on greenhouse gas emissions for recycling compared to the production process of virgin aluminium.
What is the kind of support the downstream aluminium industry is providing to other ancillary industries?
The downstream aluminium industry generates substantial employment opportunities for the ancillary industries in the MSME space besides developing strong logistics and infrastructure support. Globally, there are over 3000 – 4000 known applications of use for aluminium extrusions. We are into continuous research and development to help India expand the number of aluminium applications and generate demand for the ancillary industries. Our efforts are to build a tremendous value chain across the downstream aluminium sector, create synergies, and build upon the vital ecosystem.