As delegates, experts and officials turned up in droves to attend the seventh edition of the International Conference on Aluminium (INCAL), the first ever to be held in Odisha, there emerged a consensual view on the man who spearheaded the efforts to host a conclave of this scale.
The man, the visionary is none other than Dr TK Chand, the venerable chairman and managing director (CMD) of National Aluminium Company (Nalco) and president at the Aluminium Association of India (AAI). The successful hosting of this conclave attended by 850 participants including 150 foreign delegates is the fall out of the dynamism and diligent efforts invested by Nalco CMD and his team.
Chand who welcomed delegates said the mission was to pitch aluminium as the metal for the future and work towards proliferating its usage. He said Odisha with the largest bauxite deposits in the country, home to 50 per cent of its smelting capacity and potential for a complete, integrated value chain and ecosystem deserved to be the aluminium capital of India.
The Nalco CMD, a huge votary of aluminium has penned two books, glorifying the metal’s potential and applications- ‘Aluminium: The Strategic Metal’ and ‘Aluminium: The Metal of the Future’. A metals focused industry veteran endowed with over three decades of varied industry experience, Dr Chand is best suited to wax eloquent on the manifold benefits and applications of aluminium. One of the future areas where aluminium can expand its usage is the rapidly evolving automobile industry, feels he.
“Aluminium is the metal of the future. One kilogram of aluminium when used in place of the same amount of heavy metal reduces 22 kg of carbon emissions in the life cycle of an automobile, thereby bringing in sustainability”, Chand said at the conference.
“Odisha’s moment of reckoning has come. For the first time, a mega aluminium conference is being held in the state. It is a moment that should be seized by stakeholders in the aluminium value chain. The state is rich in bauxite and coal deposits and is eminently suitable for growth of aluminium industry”, he adds.
Chand believes aluminium is the future wonder metal. As per estimates, a one per cent growth in GDP corresponds to 0.95 per cent growth of aluminium consumption in the country. The country is likely to touch an aluminium consumption of 10 million tonnes by 2030. The focus on Smart Cities, rural electrification and smart transport will spur consumption growth. With the thrust given on electric vehicles and aluminium wagons, the transport sector is likely to witness a quantum jump in aluminium consumption.
“At the end of the day, the purpose is to promote Aluminium as Future Metal, making Aluminium the driver of growth and development in India and boosting Brand Odisha with the epithet- Odisha- Aluminium Capital of India and Think Aluminium, Think Odisha”, Chand says.