ANGUL: Jindal Steel and Power Ltd (JSPL)’s coal-based steel making facility at Angul is set to become a Harvard University case study on sustainable green technology innovations being adapted by industries in countries like India.
Forty-three students from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Fletcher School of Tufts University, MIT Sloan School of Management and Sunway College on Sunday visited the plant for an on-ground assessment of the technology and its impact.
The objective is to document a Harvard Business School study on ‘Multitude of local innovations and challenges faced by JSPL’ while adapting technology and management of coal gasification from South Africa to the processes in India, thereby creating an energy efficient and more environment friendly technology of steel-making.
JSPL has pioneered the coal gasification plant (CGP) and direct reduced iron (DRI) route to make steel. This technology can use locally available high-ash coal to make steel, unlike the blast furnace route that uses imported coking coal.
Unlike the case of South African technology, where the coal used does not have more than 20 per cent ash content and is consistent in its quality, the CGP at Angul facility has adapted it to local conditions and quality of input to process coal that contains more than 50 per cent ash. The CGP has enabled pollution-free sponge iron making, a first in the country.
The students drawn from different streams such as public policy, management, education and technology are on the India-leg of the ‘Asia Leadership Trek’ after visiting Japan, South Korea, Indonesia and Malaysia. With JSPL being the only plant on their list, they visited the CGP, DRI unit, plate mill and interacted with senior management including Chairman Naveen Jindal.
“Coal gasification technology has immense potential for countries like India, where non-coking coal is abundantly available. We, at Angul, have used this technology for the first time in the world in a steel plant. It is an honour for us that Harvard University has included this environment friendly steel making process in the Asia Leadership Trek 2015,” Jindal said.
The visiting team too were visibly impressed with the facility. “We are here to study the challenges and opportunities that India is facing today. The country needs heavy investment in infrastructure, including steel and power, but at the same time should be environmentally sustainable too,” said Joel Robert Frederick Smoot from Harvard Kennedy School.
Harvard University’s Asia Leadership Trek aims to provide first-hand insights through an experiential journey of a country or region, in which participants investigate political, economic, industry or societal issues.
Executive Director (CGP) Jona Pillay, executive director (i/c) DK Saraogi, chief sustainability officer Miniya Chatterjee, EVP (DRI & SMS) Damodar Mittal and other senior officials of JSPL explained about the CGP and steel plant to the students.