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Tata Steel and ICAR-NRRI Collaborate to improve soil in Odisha with Basic Oxygen Furnace (LD) Slag and Fly Ash

To be implemented in Dhenkanal, Angul and Jajpur districts

Bhubaneswar, June 19, 2024 – Tata Steel, has joined hands with the Government of Odisha to implement a sustainable agricultural initiative in the state. The collaboration aims to utilize industrial waste, such as basic oxygen furnace (LD) slag and fly ash, as soil amendments to reclaim acidic soils in Odisha. The first consignment of LD slag was flagged Off from Tata Steel Meramandali (TSM) plant in Dhenkanal district on June 18, 2024.

Dr Manish Devnath, Scientist-National Rice Research Institute, Cuttack, Anoop Srivastava- Chief Environment TSM, Alok Ranjan- Chief IBMD Operations, Tata Steel, and other officials from Tata Steel were present at the flag off ceremony.  

The project, titled “Economic and Environment Friendly Utilisation of Basic Slag and Fly Ash as Soil Amendments to Reclaim Acid Soils of Odisha (SAFAR),” is being spearheaded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-National Rice Research Institute (ICAR-NRRI) in Cuttack, Odisha. The initiative is part of the Odisha government’s “Waste to Wealth” program, which promotes a circular economy.

“We are pleased to collaborate with the Government of Odisha and ICAR-NRRI on this important initiative,” said Rajiv Mangal, Vice President – Safety, Health & Sustainability, Tata Steel. “By utilizing our industrial by-products, we can contribute to the reclamation of acidic soils and support sustainable agriculture in the state. This partnership aligns with Tata Steel’s commitment to environmental stewardship and promoting circular economy principles.”

Commending  Tata Steel on the initiative Er. Ramesh Kumar Ekka, Senior Environmental Engineer and Regional Officer, State Pollution Control Board, Angul, Odisha said, “Utilisation of bulk generated industrial solid waste like fly ash and LD slag has become big challenges for Iron and Steel sectors. However, Tata Steel has taken a good initiative in collaboration with Government of Odisha and ICAR-NRRI on reclamation of acid soil with such industrial waste in the districts of Dhenkanal, Angul and Jajpur. My best wishes for such scientific initiatives towards utilisation of industrial solid waste”.

Tata Steel will be responsible for providing the necessary quantities of LD slag and fly ash generated in its Integrated Iron and Steel plants at to be used as soil amendments in targeted districts of Odisha, including Dhenkanal, Angul, and Jajpur. The soil amendments will be produced and distributed in two phases – before the Kharif (monsoon) crop season and before the Rabi (winter) crop season. This timeline ensures that the amendments are available to farmers during the critical planting periods.

The project has also received approval from the State Pollution Control Board, Odisha, in line with the Fly Ash Notification and Central Pollution Control Board guidelines on the management of Pyro-Metallurgical Slags.

ICAR-NRRI is a premier research institute under the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), Government of India dedicated to advancing rice research and technology.

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