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Indian Oil to build first green hydrogen plant in the country at its Mathura refinery

July 23/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- India's largest oil firm Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) will build the nation's first 'green hydrogen' plant at its Mathura refinery, as it aims to prepare for a future catering to the growing demand for both oil and cleaner forms of energy, according to Business Stanard.

IOC has drawn a strategic growth path that aims to maintain focus on its core refining and fuel marketing businesses while making bigger inroads into petrochemicals, hydrogen and electric mobility over the next 10 years, its chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said.

The company will not set captive power plants at all its future refinery and petrochemical expansion projects and instead use the 250 MW of electricity it produces from renewable sources like solar power, he told PTI in an interview.

"We have a wind power project in Rajasthan. We intend to wheel that power to our Mathura refinery and use that electricity to produce absolutely green hydrogen through electrolysis," he said.

This will be the nation's first green hydrogen unit. Previously, projects have been announced to produce 'grey hydrogen' using fossil fuels such as natural gas.

Green hydrogen production - the ultimate clean hydrogen resource - uses renewable energy to create hydrogen fuel.

IOC's refinery expansion plans include raising the capacity of units at Panipat in Haryana and Barauni in Bihar and setting up a new unit near Chennai.

"We are going to add 25 million tonnes of our refining capacity by the year 2023-24. We are 80.5 million tonnes now including CPCL, we are going to be 105 million tonnes," he said.

Vaidya said IOC was pushing ahead with research on carbon capture, utilisation and storage technologies - space where it is seeking global collaboration to meet its Paris climate goals. Hydrogen, he said, would be a fuel of the future. IOC is planning to set up several hydrogen production units on a pilot basis.

This includes a project at Gujarat refinery to produce finite purity hydrogen of 99.9999 per cent for hydrogen fuel cell buses. "Today, 50 buses in Delhi are being fueled by hydrogen-spiked compressed natural gas, or H-CNG, which has 18 per cent hydrogen content," he said adding hydrogen fuel cell buses will be put to service on iconic routes of Vadodara-Sabarmati and Vadodara-Statue of Unity, Kevedia.

"About 15 fuel-cell-powered buses, with the fuel cells entirely India-made, are expected to ply in the second half of 2021. Since running these buses would require hydrogen, IOC is setting up a plant, whose capacity could be anywhere between 200 tonnes and 400 tonnes per day," he added.

Petroleum refining and marketing will continue to be IOC's core businesses with much higher petrochemicals integration. Also, gas will play a larger role and the firm will have a presence in electric mobility space through charging stations at petrol pumps and a planned battery manufacturing unit.

As MRC informed earlier, Indian refiners, anticipating a lifting of US sanctions, plan to make space for the resumption of Iranian imports by reducing spot crude oil purchases in the second half of the year. The world's third-largest oil consumer and importer halted imports from Tehran in 2019 after former US President Donald Trump withdrew from a 2015 accord and re-imposed sanctions on the OPEC producer over its disputed nuclear programme.

Ethylene and propylene are the main feedstocks for the production of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP), respectively.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 953,400 tonnes in the first five months of 2021, which virtually corresponded to the same figure a year earlier. High denisty polyethylene (HDPE) shipments decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 607,8900 tonnes in January-May 2021, up by 33% year on year. Shipments of homopolymer PP and PP block copolymers increased, whereas deliveries of PP random copolymers decreased.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:crude and gaz condensate, gas processing, petrochemistry, Indian Oil Corp, India.
Category:General News
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