World’s biggest Zinc Smelter Project in Gujrat: Some Facts.

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17 October 2020.


Gujrat government has signed a pact with Vedanta Group Firm- Hindustan Zinc Limited (HZL)V to set up a greenfield zinc smelter in the state on 14th October 2020.


  • The project will entail an investment of up to Rs 10,000 crore.
  • The facility spread over 415 acres will entail an investment of Rs 5000- 10,000 crore in phases, creating more than 5,000 direct and indirect jobs and will be operational by 2022.
  • HZL signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Government of Gujarat to set up 300 KTPA (kilo tonnes per annum) greenfield zinc smelter at Doswada, GIDC (Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation).
  • The new facility – the first for Hindustan Zinc in Gujarat – will be set up with zero discharge technology and will be among the lowest cost smelters in the world.
  • It is located in proximity to port and key markets of consumption.
  •  The new facility will produce zinc and other minor metals.
  •  The plant will substantially increase employment and will boost the economy in the region.
  • The new facility will be a model plant – incorporating the latest technology, automation and highest standards of environment and health safety compliance.
  • The new facility will be in close proximity to the downstream user industries.
  • In addition to this  it will aid in development of industrial clusters as well as ancillary industries in the future.

What is Smelting?

  • Smelting is the process by which heat is applied to extract a metal from its ore.
  • The process is used to extract copper, iron, silver, zinc and other base metals.
  • During heating, apart from the metal, several other chemical components are emitted.
  •  Of these, sulphur dioxide and hydrogen dioxide nauseous and pollute the atmosphere.
  • The waste products of smelting are released into water supplies. Such waste contains lead and chromium that are hazardous to plant and animal life.
  • Acid rains are common in the regions of smelting plants. Acid rain erodes land and makes it unfit for cultivation.
  • The workers in the smelting plans are exposed to toxic chemicals.
  • Inhalation of these chemicals harm the worker health and productivity.

Possible Environmental Issues:

  • There is possibility of contamination of groundwater.
  • Possibilty of air pollution causing respiratory diseases cannot be ruled out.
  • The Thoothukudi Massacre which took place in 2018 was during a  protest against the Copper Smelter plant of Sterlite Corporation.

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