Vedanta Aluminium and GEAR India to Deploy One of India’s Largest Lithium-Ion Forklift Fleets

Rahul Sharma, CEO – Aluminium Business, Vedanta Ltd and Varun Chopra, Executive Chairman, GEAR India

New Delhi, India – Vedanta Aluminium Business, India’s largest producer of aluminium and value-added products, has signed an agreement with GEAR (Gemini Equipment and Rentals Pvt Ltd) India, one of India’s leading Warehousing/Intralogistics Material Handling Equipment (MHE) rental service providers, to deploy one of the largest fleets of lithium-ion battery-powered electric forklifts, making it the first in the Indian aluminium industry to do so. Over the next few months, the company will commission 23 such forklifts at its aluminium smelter in Jharsuguda, Odisha, which is one of the world’s largest single-location aluminium smelters. By replacing diesel-fueled forklifts with this green fleet, more than 2.5 lakh litres of diesel will be saved annually, resulting in GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions savings of nearly 690 tonnes of CO2 equivalent.

Vedanta Aluminium has a large fleet of forklifts that it uses for finished goods handling, material movement, and other tasks. The new lithium-ion forklifts will help increase operational productivity by allowing for longer working cycles thanks to rapid charging. Lithium-ion batteries are unique in that they eliminate the hassles of frequent battery changes and have a significantly longer life than conventional lead-acid batteries, all while being virtually maintenance-free due to their complete sealing.

To help ensure the highest levels of safety on site, these forklifts use the cutting-edge ‘Smart Fleet Management’ system. The Smart Fleet Management system integrates data collected by intelligent terminals with IoT (Internet of Things) technology to provide Vedanta Aluminium with real-time insights on forklift speed, access to operate, collision avoidance, optimization analysis for operational efficiency, and equipment maintenance, among other things. Furthermore, these electric forklifts feature forward and reverse cameras to provide complete visibility to the operators, as well as red-zone lights and blue spotlights to create a safe operating zone around the forklift and an automatic deceleration mechanism while turning for added safety.

Rahul Sharma, CEO – Aluminium Business, Vedanta Ltd, said, “Vedanta Aluminium is committed to achieving Net Zero Carbon emissions by 2050. Our partnership with GEAR to deploy one of India’s largest and most advanced electric forklift fleets is in line with our endeavor towards leveraging the power of innovation and technology to make our operations future-ready. In addition to reducing carbon footprint, this initiative uses cloud computing to provide real-time analytics to enhance productivity and further bolster our people’s safety.”

To this, Varun Chopra, Executive Chairman, GEAR India, added, “Vedanta Aluminium’s endeavor to replace fossil-fuelled heavy vehicles with technologically-advanced lithium-ion forklifts at such a mammoth scale is a praiseworthy move. It is our privilege to be Vedanta’s partner in this pioneering venture, which will go a long way towards decarbonizing their industrial vehicle fleet. This will serve as an inspiration for the Indian manufacturing industry to explore emerging technology solutions for achieving their Net Zero vision.”

Image Source: Vedanta Ltd


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