State-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) said on Friday that it will build the nation’s first ‘green hydrogen’ plant at its Mathura refinery. Solar and wind plants can produce green hydrogen with the help of electrolysers, and the company intends to wheel electricity from its wind power project in Rajasthan to generate hydrogen in Mathura refinery.
The announcement closely follows the central government unveiling its plans of imposing green hydrogen consumption obligations on fertiliser producers and petroleum refiners to create a market for green hydrogen. “As we see it, green hydrogen will replace carbon-emitting fuels used in the refinery to process crude oil into value-added products such as petrol and diesel,” IOCL chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said.
The firm is already working on the research and development of hydrogen production, storage and applications like hydrogen fuel cells. It has already announced its plan of operating 15 fuel cell buses in the Delhi-NCR region along with Tata Motors, and has recently shared a statement-of-intent with Norway-based Greenstat to set up a Centre of Excellence on Hydrogen in India to accelerate a gradual transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
State-run NTPC also plans to generate green hydrogen on a commercial scale from the electricity generated by the solar panels to be installed in its upcoming 4,750 mega-watt renewable energy park at Rann of Kutch in Khavada, Gujarat.
Setting up a manufacturing unit for electrolysers was also a part of the Rs 75,000 crore green energy investment announcement recently made by Reliance Industries.
“IOCL has drawn a strategic growth path to focus on its core refining and fuel marketing businesses while making bigger inroads into petrochemicals, hydrogen, and electric mobility over the next ten years,” Vaidya said, adding that “Mathura has been selected (for green hydrogen production) because of its proximity to Taj Trapezium Zone”.