Green resurgence

Tata Chemicals' Babrala fertiliser plant's intensive plantation campaign has added a 13km 'green belt' to an arid region. Conserving and recycling water has helped further the company's commitment to the environment.

The empty scrub dry earth around the Babrala plant when TCL initiated its operations in 1989, has now been covered with a luxuriant green cover. Only five trees stood in the plains provided to the company for its factory. Today, there are over 2,92,000 trees stretching 13 kilometres around the plant.

This effort was not only to provide green cover to the dry, unproductive lands of Babrala and its vicinity, but a fulfilment of a long-standing Tata Chemicals’ commitment to environment and biodiversity. The green vistas and cool fresh breezes that one enjoys at the site is a testimony of the company’s commitment and policy that is not just scripted in words, but translated into field reality.

The huge plantation drive transformed a highly alkaline area into a lush green forest with both flora and fauna. The establishment of a 13km-wide greenbelt acts as a natural barrier between the plant and the surrounding population; it also acts as a natural sink for greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide.

The normal annual rainfall for the Babrala site about 500-700mm / year. The TCL fertiliser complex at Babrala has a natural low-lying area, which spreads over approximately 10 acres. During the monsoons, water from surrounding areas flows into this area and rainwater accumulates in large quantities. The company developed this low-lying area as a water body, which effectively collects and stores rainwater, facilitating the recharge of ground water by gravity. The storage capacity of the water body was improved; with an average depth of 3 to 4 metres, the area can easily store more than 150,000m3 of rainwater annually. This water body collects rainwater runoff from green and open areas within the complex thus recharging the groundwater.

The site also implemented rain water harvesting structures and an extensive storm water drainage network by diverting the runoff that is generated from the roofs, paved area, roads and green belt area into a monitoring pond, for recharging the ground water system. The rain water collected in the monitoring pond is used for irrigation purposes during non-rainy season.  

At the fertiliser complex, approximately 80 percent of process effluents are recycled so as to save approximately 40 percent of the facility’s total water requirement.

In order to conserve water, the facility collects and recycles all process condensates from Ammonia, Urea and Offsites.

The site is also working on the collection of DM plant blow-down water in order to recycle it for use as cooling water make-up.

Effluent recycling process