Moving in line with the government’s hydrogen roadmap, public sector major Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is in talks with state transport utilities of Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat to set up hydrogen manufacturing units and refuelling stations. The company has also set a target of converting at least 10 per cent of its hydrogen consumption at refineries to green hydrogen soon.
The UP unit will be near Mathura refinery, while the one in Gujarat will be close to Baroda refinery. The plan is to run 10-20 buses in both the states in initial stage, said S S V Ramakumar, director of research and development at the country’s biggest state-run refiner IOC, addressing the media in Chennai on Wednesday. He added that in Kerala, the plan is to come up with a stand-alone green hydrogen manufacturing unit from Cochin International Airports’ solar power facility.
Kochi is the world’s first fully solar-powered airport with a total capacity of 40 megawatt-peak, helping it produce around 160,000 units of power a day, against its daily consumption of nearly 130,000 units. “The idea is to run hydrogen buses from Cochin airport to Thiruvananthapuram,” he said.
He added that IOC has also set a target of converting 10 per cent of its hydrogen usage at refineries to green sources soon. As a first step towards this, 10 per cent of the usage in the Mathura refinery will be converted to green sources by 2024. The company had announced in its annual general meeting held in August that it may soon build the nation’s first ‘Green Hydrogen’ plant at Mathura Refinery. The unit is likely to have a capacity of around 160,000 barrels per day.
This comes at a time when the country is looking a proposal to make it mandatory for fertilizer plants, oil refineries and steel plants to use green hydrogen as part of its plan to reduce the dependency on fossil fuels. The government is reportedly planning to make it mandatory for these selected areas to use green hydrogen to meet 0.15 per cent of their total hydrogen requirements by 2024. Green hydrogen is hydrogen produced using renewable energy through electrolysis. This method uses an electrical current to separate the hydrogen from the oxygen in water.
India had launched the National Hydrogen Mission on the country’s 75th Independence Day on August 15, 2021. The mission is expected to help the country meet the climate targets and also in converting India to a green hydrogen hub. At present, the country’s entire production of hydrogen is coming from fossil fuels. “We expect the hydrogen production to increase from 6 million metric tonne (MMT) now to around 12 MMT by 2030,” Ramakumar added.
Many industry majors including Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Industries, Adani Group and power sector major NTPC have already announced their plans to come out with hydrogen projects. Ambani had said that India is likely to be the leader in hydrogen technology by becoming the first country to produce it below $1 per kilo gram.
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