Bhubaneswar: Tata Steel Mining Ltd. (TSML), In continuation of the group’s commitment to sustainability and its own long-term strategic alignment with Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of UN, has partnered with New Delhi based The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a research institute that specializes in the fields of energy, environment and sustainable development, to conduct water audits at five of its operational facilities in Odisha to ensure more efficient use of water and its conservation.

The initiative focuses on several facets, including comprehensive water audits involving water use and water balance, water quality profiling, identification of water losses and leakages. The study aims to identify recommendations for efficient water management at these facilities concerning water reuse, recycling and conservation, as well as a reduction in specific water consumption. This will enable TSML to develop an integrated industrial water management strategy that optimises efficient use of water and improves water productivity at its units. Additionally, the results of the survey will contribute towards the National Water Mission’s goal of improving water use efficiency.

TSML has also partnered with FluxGen Engineering Technologies, a Karnataka based Company working on water solution, to install AquaGen mechanism to reduce water consumption. AuqaGen is a SaaS (Software as a service) platform that will give a secure single window access system to digital data of the entire water infrastructure on parameters such as water flow, water level, and borewell water level. To begin with, the Company is deploying AquaGen at its Sukinda Chromite Mine in Jajpur and Ferro Alloy Plant at Athagarh in Cuttack district of Odisha, covering the complete value chain of ferrochrome making.

Commenting on the initiatives TSML MD Pankaj Kumar Satija, says, “Water being a critical national resource, we are focusing on zero down ground water withdrawal and a 30% reduction in surface water intake by 2030. TSML is also working to revitalise local water bodies, increase access to clean drinking water and promote judicious consumption of water, as well as promoting “Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle” practices across the Company’s operations and promoting the same for the communities near its units. Collaboration with TERI and FluxGen will contribute in this direction.”

To ensure fulfilment of the Company’s commitment of net zero wastewater discharge, TSML has developed a 108 million liters per day capacity onsite Central Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP) at Sukinda Chromite Mine (SCM). The central ETP effectively treats 100% of the generated effluent and allows the Company to reclaim up to 95 -90% of recycled water. SCM township has a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP) that treats domestic waste water into treated water, which is reused for gardening, washing of machineries and vehicles – resulting in zero liquid discharge.

TSML is also working to install another central ETP of 1200 cubic metre per hour capacity for its Saruabil and Kamarda chromite mines in Sukinda. TSML’s both the ferroalloy plants at Gopalpur in Ganjam district and at Athagarh in Cuttack district of Odisha have onsite effluent treatment plants that treat onsite process water. For its Athagarh plant it has already reduced its water intake by 0.50 cusecs.

The Company has constructed garland drains around its plant boundaries and a settling pit to channelise waste water from jigging and hot metal cake quenching operations as well as surface run-off to the ETP. The 100% recycled water is reused on-site in metal cooling and jigging for sprinkling water on the road and gardening. Both production plants have a sewage treatment plant that treat domestic wastewater. Treated water is reused for gardening purposes, making both the facilities zero liquid-discharge.