Monday 22nd April 2024

Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of IREL

Sep 2nd, 2021 7:53 pm | By | Category: LATEST NEWS

IREL (India) Limited, a Mini Ratna-I CPSE under the aegis of the Department of Atomic Energy completed seventy years of dedicated service to the nation, customers and stakeholders. The journey over the seventy years showcases the innovation, effort, perseverance, and versatility of the Company which has resulted in developing a brand value recognized world over.

IREL (India) Limited kicked off celebrations to mark the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations on 18th August 2020 and during the year, series of Webinars were conducted with invited talks by eminent speakers from Institutions, Research Laboratories.

The concluding ceremony of the Platinum Jubilee year was organized by hosting a two day conference on “Rare Earths Road Map for Energy Security of Self-Reliant India” (REES-2021) in association with Rare Earth Association of India (REAI). Incidentally, the Platinum Jubilee year coincided with the nation-wide Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations. Owing to the ongoing pandemic, the seminar was held in a hybrid mode with offline, virtual and pre-recorded participation from Policy makers, Industry, Academics and Scientists.

Distinguished personalities like Dr. V K Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog, K N Vyas, Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission & Secretary, DAE, Dr. A K Mohanty, Director, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre graced the inaugural function virtually, while Dr. Ram Mohan, Addl. Secretary NSCS delivered the keynote address.

D Singh, CMD, IREL (India) Limited set the tone of the conference in his opening remarks by highlighting the importance of Rare Earths in achieving energy security. He proudly informed that despite the monopoly of China in the field, India is one amongst 2 to 3 countries and IREL under DAE is the only company in India who has the capabilities to produce Rare Earths. He said that he is sure, the deliberations, presentations during the conference would lead to way forward to the development of eco-system for the RE sector in the country.

Dr. Ram Mohan, Additional Secretary, NSCS in his keynote address emphasized and lauded the role of IREL in separating out the radioactivity and making radioactive free products including minerals and Rare Earths available to the industry and society at large. He wished India to be hub of RE industry and mentioned about the limitation of Heavy Rare Earths in Indian resources that are critical for strategic and other applications and need of the hour is to augment the supplies of Heavy Rare Earths in particular.

Guest of Honour, Dr. A K Mohanty, Director, BARC in his address said that the theme chosen for the conference to mark the Platinum Jubilee of IREL is apt in the wake of recent development in the RE field especially in securing the energy needs of the country and hoped the deliberations at the conference will be basis for formulating the road map for sustainability of the nation and will be pathfinder to the nation becoming a global economic power.

In the presidential address, K.N.Vyas, Chairman, AEC & Secretary, DAE mentioned about the Atomic Energy programme being conceived by the visionary founder Dr. Homi J. Bhabha with a three-stage programme envisaged to exploit the vast reserves of Thorium for Nuclear Energy. The task was difficult and challenging as RE presence is of the order of 0.06% with certain RE present in ppm level. However, technical capabilities and processes have been developed with support R&D work carried out by BARC and so far, IREL has been able to perform its duty excellently. Dr. Bhabha had formulated a business model for IREL based upon commercial exploitation of polymetallic deposits towards making the organization financially self-sustainable. It is indeed noteworthy that significant progress has been made since those early beginnings. IREL is today a profit-making enterprise of DAE having more than 35 products under its portfolio catering to the varied requirements of nuclear, defense, space, petrochemical, automobile, and several other industries. IREL has made significant contribution to meet the needs of DAE and serve its mandate in several ways such as thorium stockpiling to meet 3rd stage nuclear energy program, supply of Zircon to NFC for manufacturing Zircalloy for Nuclear Fuel Claddings and supply of Rare Earths such as Dysprosium, Gadolinium and Samarium which are available in trace quantities to meet the specific needs of the department.

Chief Guest of the function, Dr. V K Saraswat, Member NITI Aayog appreciated the vital role, IREL is playing for providing the strategic needs of the country. I am confident that with its commitment to excellence, IREL will achieve greater heights in future. He stressed that energy has become the foremost requirement to accelerate the economic growth for poverty alleviation and sustainable development. For success of global efforts in climate change mitigation pollution control and energy security for low carbon economy, sustainability of the Rare Earth industry is very important. The synergy of BARC in R&D and IREL in processing and refining of Rare Earths is successful in positioning India actively on Global RE map. Rare Earths in general and IREL in particular would be instrumental in contribution to this growth and achieve great heights in days to come.

During the inaugural function, a Monograph titled “Rare Earth in India – The Incredible Voyage of Endurance” was released highlighting the history of the sector encompassing journey traversed, salient milestones achieved, challenges faced, etc. The Conference was participated by Rare Earth fraternity across the country. Eminent speakers from Atomic Energy, Scientific Institutes and Industries presented talks on various aspects of Rare Earths Sector including exploration, processing, intermediate products and applications.
The Conference concluded with a Panel discussion in which the road map for developing a tight rope ecosystem for Rare Earths was deliberated. Summing up the discussions, D.Singh, CMD, IREL (India) Limited stressed on the need to develop a national Rare Earth mission and policy advocacy, Government push and support to overcome the industry dilemma for investment in Rare Earth sector, collaboration between industry and research institutions and development of ecosystem to build efficient supply chain to meet the growing need for Rare Earths towards self-reliant India.

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