India’s largest oil company, IOC, will build the country’s first ‘green hydrogen’ plant at its Mathura refinery, as it aims to prepare for a future that meets the growing demand for oil and cleaner forms of energy. .
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has charted a strategic growth path that aims to maintain focus on its core fuel refining and trading businesses while making further advancements in petrochemicals, hydrogen and electric mobility over the next 10 years, he said. its president Shrikant Madhav Vaidya.
The company will not install captive power plants in all of its future refinery and petrochemical expansion projects and will instead use the 250 MW of electricity it produces from renewable sources such as solar power, it told PTI in an interview.
“We have a wind energy project in Rajasthan. We intend to bring that energy to our Mathura refinery and use that electricity to produce absolutely green hydrogen through electrolysis,” he said.
This will be the first green hydrogen unit in the country. Previously, projects to produce ‘gray hydrogen’ using fossil fuels such as natural gas had been announced.
Hydrogen is the latest buzz to meet the world’s energy needs. Hydrogen itself is a clean fuel, but its manufacture is energy-intensive and has carbon by-products.
Brown hydrogen is created through the gasification of coal, while the gray hydrogen production process removes carbon waste. Blue hydrogen uses carbon capture and storage for the greenhouse gases produced in creating gray hydrogen.
The production of green hydrogen, the last clean hydrogen resource, uses renewable energy to create hydrogen fuel.
“Mathura has been selected by virtue of its proximity to TTZ (Taj Trapezium Zone),” Vaidya said, adding that green hydrogen will replace carbon-emitting fuels used in the refinery to process crude oil into value-added products. like gasoline and diesel.
He said that all expansion projects will use electricity from the grid, preferably green energy to meet energy requirements.
“We have a number of line expansions that are already approved. We will not have a captive power plant and we will use energy from the grid, preferably green energy. This will help decarbonize part of the manufacturing,” he said.
IOC’s refinery expansion plans include increasing the capacity of the units at Panipat in Haryana and Barauni in Bihar and establishing a new unit near Chennai.
“We are going to add 25 million tons to our refining capacity by 2023-24. Now we are 80.5 million tons including CPCL, we are going to be 105 million tons,” he said.
Vaidya said the IOC was moving forward with research on carbon capture, utilization and storage technologies, a space where it seeks global collaboration to meet its Paris climate targets.
Hydrogen, he said, would be a fuel of the future. The IOC plans to establish several hydrogen production units on a trial basis.
This includes a project at the Gujarat refinery to produce 99.9999 percent finite purity hydrogen for hydrogen fuel cell buses. “Today, 50 buses in Delhi are powered by hydrogen-enriched compressed natural gas, or H-CNG, which has 18 percent hydrogen content,” he said, adding that hydrogen fuel cell buses will run in service on the iconic routes of Vadodara. Statue of the unity of Sabarmati and Vadodara, Kevedia.
Some 15 fuel cell-powered buses, with fuel cells manufactured entirely in India, are expected to be operational in the second half of 2021. Since these buses would require hydrogen to operate, IOC is setting up a plant, the capacity could be anywhere. between 200 and 400 tons per day ”, he added.
Oil refining and trading will continue to be IOC’s core activities with much greater integration of petrochemicals. In addition, gas will play a bigger role and the firm will have a presence in the electric mobility space through gas pump charging stations and a planned battery manufacturing unit.
According to forecasts by various agencies, India’s fuel demand will rise to 400-450 million tons by 2040, up from 250 million tons today. This gives enough legroom for all forms of energy to coexist, he said, adding that growing demand makes it imperative to pursue refining expansion, as well as expanding the footprint in compressed natural gas, LNG, biodiesel and ethanol.
Vaidya said the IOC had already commissioned battery exchange stations in many cities. The firm has already installed 286 charging stations, including exchange ones, throughout the country, which will rise to 3,000 electric vehicle charging stations in the coming years.
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