New Delhi: Hindalco, one of the leading aluminium manufacturing companies in India, unveiled the first all-aluminium made freight rakes for the Indian railways. The new rakes, which is lighter in weight and durable than the conventional steel, will help the country reduce carbon emission.
Union railway minister Ashwini Vaishnaw flagged off the rakes at Bhubaneswar, which will which transport coal for Hindalco’s Aditya Smelter plant in Lapanga. The minister said the country would save about 14,500 tonne of carbon as compared to the conventional steel wagons. “Aluminium rakes have more capacity, consume less energy and are corrosion-resistant. They are 100% recyclable and even after 30 years, they will be as good as new. These aluminium wagons will enable us to achieve our climate goals,” said Vaishnaw.
The rakes have been developed and manufactured indigenously under Make in India program indigenously in collaboration with Research Design and Standards Organisation (RDSO), Hindalco Limited and Besco Wagon. It is fully lockbolted construction with no welding on superstructure. The tare is 3.25 tons lower than normal steel rakes, 180 ton extra carrying capacity resulting in higher throughput per wagon.
The reduced tare will reduce carbon footprint as lower consumption of fuel in empty direction and more transport of freight in loaded condition. It comes with 80% of resale value, though it’s cost is 35% higher as the superstructure is all aluminium.
Lower maintenance cost due to higher corrosion and abrasion resistance. Iron industry consumes a lot of nickel and cadmium, which come from import. So, proliferation of aluminium wagons will result in less import. At the same time, this is good for local aluminium industry. The Indian Railway, officials said, planning to deploy more than one lakh wagons in the coming years.
Satish Pai, managing director, Hindalco Industries said: “The launch of the India’s first aluminium freight rake is a testimony to our capability and commitment to offer smart and sustainable solutions for nation building. Hindalco is steadfast in bringing together the best of global technologies with local resources to make Indian Railways’ logistics more efficient and contribute to the vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat.”
The freight sector in India is expected to grow at more than 7% CAGR to 15-billion tonne by 2050, with the energy-efficient and eco-friendly railways expected to notably increase its volume share from the current 18%.
Company officials said that Hindalco is also contemplating entering in to manufacturing of aluminium coaches for high-speed passenger trains. Aluminium trains command a lion’s share in the United States, Europe and Japan because of attributes such as sleek, aerodynamic designs and their ability to tilt at high speeds without going off the rails.