Environment Management Division (EMD), established in 1989, is the corporate unit certified with ISO 9001 Standard. The unit plays a pivotal role in consolidation of the efforts of the plants, mines and units towards environment protection and resource optimization through its multifarious activities involving
Proactive interface between the SAIL units and the regulatory agencies
Monitoring and Assessment,
Awareness campaigns and skill up-gradation.
In addition to these, EMD with constant co-operation from plants, mines and units, is paving its way for propagation of EMS linked to ISO 14001 for various shops and units, including warehouses.
Major Activities of EMD
Within the ambit of notified environmental standards and rules pertaining to eco-friendly management of various wastes, generated inside the plant premises and at the townships, SAIL plants and mines operate its processes without disturbing the ecological balance. SAIL has also drawn its environmental vision in consonance with the Corporate Environmental Policy, which not only addresses the needs to be compliant but also emphasises on striving to go beyond. Besides, SAIL is committed to address the stakeholders’ concerns and communicate its environmental philosophy to all the stake holders.
Since inception, SAIL plants and mines have been putting relentless efforts in sustained manner, so as to conduct various operations in an environment-friendly manner. As a result, reduction in environmental emission and discharge, increase in utilization of solid wastes and greenery development are being achieved. SAIL plants and mines are efficiently operating the pollution control devices/facilities and maintaining through revamping and refurbishing and also up-grading as and when required, for the purpose of complying with the applicable environmental standards, which are becoming more and more stringent day by day.
With the concerted efforts, the Particulate Matter (PM) emission load (kg/tcs) is getting declined progressively. Moreover, during the expansion cum modernisation programs, state-of-the-art technologies along with latest pollution control facilities have been installed, as a result of which the pollution level and CO2 emission have also come down.
Similarly, water pollution level at the steel plants and mines is strictly controlled through effective utilisation of the Effluent Treatment Plants (ETPs) installed at the various shops, rejuvenation of the existing local water re-circulation systems and recycling of treated waste water as much as possible. The waste water arising out from different operations at plants and mines is treated in common ETPs and is discharged through the outfalls at the boundary, which conforms to the stipulated norms for respective parameters. The specific effluent load in the discharged effluent has reduced appreciably.
Improvement in the following key Environmental Performance Indicators (EPIs) in 2018-19 over the last five years is shown below:
Specific particulate matter emission load reduced by around 16%
Specific CO2 emission reduced by 3%
Specific water consumption reduced by more than 6%
Specific effluent discharge reduced by around 17%
Specific effluent load reduced by around 11%
Blast Furnace (BF) slag utilisation increased by more than 9%
Adoption of clean technologies and state-of-the-art pollution control equipment/ facilities:
Some of the major best available technologies adopted during the massive expansion cum modernization programs of SAIL are as follows:
Higher capacity (tall) coke oven batteries equipped with Land based Pushing Emission Control System, Coke Dry Cooling Plant etc. at BSP, RSP & ISP.
Sinter Plant equipped with improved ignition system (multi-slit burners), Waste Heat Recovery facility from sinter cooler etc. at RSP & ISP.
Blast Furnace of higher capacity, equipped with Top Pressure Recovery Turbine (TRT), Waste Heat Recovery facility, Pulverised Coal Injection, Cast House De-dusting System, Cast House Slag Granulation Plant and torpedo ladle at BSP, RSP & ISP.
Phasing out of energy-intensive ingot route across SAIL plants.
Walking Beam Reheating Furnace (RHF) in place of pusher type RHF at the Rolling Mill in reducing energy consumption as well as CO2 emission at all the plants.
Water Conservation ~ sustained drive towards a better tomorrow
Over a period of time, various initiatives for reduction in water consumption for its operation have been taken up and implemented. However, to conserve this precious resource further, water conservation has now become a priority area both in its works and the townships and the society as a whole. This noble endeavor is being continued on sustained basis.
Over and above, adequate steps for implementation of treatment and recycling facilities to achieve Zero Liquid Discharge (ZLD) have already been taken up at different plants. Out of three outfalls at BSP and BSL, facility for treatment and recycling of effluent from one outfall at each plant has already been developed which is under operation. Job for the remaining outfalls is under progress. The ZLD schemes at the plants are at different stages of implementation.
Some other notable initiatives adopted for water conservation are given below:
Revamping of localized recirculation systems
Water auditing by third party
Online monitoring of quality and quantity of effluent discharged from shops as well as outfalls
Rainwater harvesting scheme
Improved effluent treatment system in upcoming units under MODEX
Effective management of wastes
The principle of 4R’s (Reduction, Reuse, Recycling and Recovery) is applied in many ways in order to improve sustainability of the industry. The concept of zero waste is continuously becoming relevant for steel sector.
Solid wastes like mill scale, BF flue dust, BF slag and waste refractory bricks are utilised fully. The BF slag gets granulated through cast house slag granulation plants for further use in cement industries as a substitute of clinker. SAIL has achieved 96% utilization of BF slag and around 56% utilisation of BOF slag during 2018-19.
With a view to increase utilization of wastes being generated inside plant boundary, following R&D based initiatives have been undertaken in recent past:
Field trial for “Use of weathered BOF slag as Rail Track Ballast”, in association with South Eastern Railway (SER), at Ispat Nagar Railway Yard, Bokaro
Pilot scale study on “Steam maturing of BOF Slag”
Study for use of BOF slag as feed material in cement making
Study for use of BOF slag as soil ameliorant
Study on suitability of use as aggregates for construction of rural roads under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojona (PMGSY)
The municipal wastes, so generated from households at township are required to be segregated at source and managed as per the “Solid Waste Management Rules, 2016”.
For handling of bio-degradable wastes arising out of canteens inside plant premises, bio-digesters, each having capacity of 400 kg per day, have been installed at DSP & RSP.
Road making with waste plastics
RSP has recently taken up a green initiative for using waste plastics in the hot mix of road making. As a pilot project, a stretch of one km road has been constructed successfully. More stretches of road at RSP and other plants are being planned to be made with waste plastic.
Environment-friendly disposal of Poly Chlorinated Bi-Phenyls (PCBs):
Polychlorinated Biphenyls (PCBs), highly toxic environmental pollutants, are the class of synthetic organic chemicals which are used in many industries. These chemicals are categorized as Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) under an international agreement on managing Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs), called Stockholm Convention. The notification on Regulation of Polychlorinated Biphenyls was issued in April, 2016. As per the notification, use of PCBs in any form shall be prohibited completely by 31st December, 2025.
Understanding the country’s need for developing a state-of-the-art facility for management and disposal of PCBs accumulated in the country, BSP in partnership with the MoEF&CC and UNIDO has initiated a project for setting-up of an environment-friendly disposal facility at its site. The project has been funded partly by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) through UNIDO. SAIL has committed to co-finance the project by extending infrastructure facilities like provision of land, building, civil works, utilities and manpower etc.
Creation of Carbon Sink
The plants play an important role in balancing the ecosystem and function as a carbon sink. Keeping the enormous contribution of the plants in mind, SAIL has long been adopting extensive afforestation program religiously in its plants and mines since its nascent stage.
One of the commitments of India under the Paris Agreement is to create an additional ‘carbon sink’ of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by 2030. In line with GoI’s NDC commitment, SAIL has set a target of planting five lakh of saplings every year in its Vision document.
Since inception, an aggregate of 205.97 lakh of saplings has been planted. About 4.43 lakh saplings have been planted in SAIL plants and units during the FY 2018-19
Bio-sequestration of CO2 through afforestation
For the purpose of reduction of CO2 emission and sequestration of the generated carbon back into the system, SAIL is assessing its carbon footprint in one hand and potential of sequestration of CO2, through its existing biotic resources, on the other. A project on carbon sequestration through afforestation has been taken up at the site of Rourkela Steel Plant. M/s Tropical Forest Research Institute, Jabalpur, has been engaged as the sequestration partner to carry out the project.
Promotion of Non-conventional energy
SAIL has already implemented following projects in order to promote application of renewable energy:
Grid connected 1 MW Solar Power Plant at RSP
3 MW roof top solar power units at different plants and units
Further to it, SAIL is in the process for implementation of following schemes:
10 MW hydel power plant at Mandira Dam, RSP, for which a Joint Venture (JV) agreement was signed between RSP and Green Energy Development Corporation of Odisha Limited (GEDCOL)
6.195 MW roof-top solar units on different SAIL buildings under Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) scheme
Installation of ground based Solar Power Plants of total capacity of 242 MW at different locations
Besides, SAIL is gradually shifting to more energy-efficient and durable LED lighting system from conventional lighting system, in line with the Government of India’s initiative “Unnat Jyoti by Affordable LEDs for All (UJALA) Scheme”. More than 53,500 LED lights were installed in last four years and the upcoming buildings and projects will be equipped with energy-efficient lighting system.
Sustainable Development Projects
Restoration and rehabilitation of degraded ecosystem is essential for maintaining and enhancing bio-diversity as well as replenishing the eco-system services.
Over the years, about 250 acre of degraded mined out area in Purnapani Limestone & Dolomite Quarry situated in Odisha has been restored back to biologically rich closed canopy forests by planting sapling of different native plant species and medicinal plants. 200 acres of mine void area has also been transformed into clean biologically productive aquatic ecosystem that provides fishing in the water body as alternative livelihood for local community.
The project has been successfully accomplished in collaboration with the Department of Bio-technology (DBT), Govt. of India through the University of Delhi and is still being maintained.
Implementation of Environment Management System (EMS)
Environmental Management System (EMS) linked with ISO:14001 is a systematic framework to manage the immediate and long term environmental impacts of an organisation’s products, services and processes. Implementation of EMS has helped SAIL plants and units to ensure their performance being always within the applicable regulatory requirements. All the integrated steel plants, major units and warehouses of SAIL are compliant with EMS ISO: 14001 Standard.
Mitigation of Climate Change Issues
Climate Change is a global issue. SAIL, being a corporate entity is striving to address the issues and opportunities for synergistic “Action” in India to limit average global temperature increase and resulting in climate change. In consonance with the Kyoto Protocol (December,1997) and National Action Plan for Clean Development and Climate Change, major thrust was given for reduction of CO2 emission.
The Paris Agreement, which came into force on 4th November, 2016, is an agreement to deal with GHG emission mitigation, adaptation and finance from 2020. Party / nations need to prepare, communicate and maintain Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). India intends to reduce emission intensity of its GDP by 33-35% by 2030 from 2005 level.
In consonance with NDC, SAIL has set a target of achieving specific CO2 emission of 2.30 T/tcs by 2030.
As a responsible corporate, SAIL has always been striving for meeting its commitments for cleaner steel making. Adopting state-of-the-art production technologies with energy-efficient and GHG mitigation systems in-built, high degree of technological discipline and well laid Environmental Policies and effective Corporate Governance have not only enhance value for our diverse stakeholders but also reaffirmed our commitments as a promoter of sustainable environment.