India joint venture aims to produce green hydrogen at scale

Indian Oil Corporation has teamed up with Larsen & Toubro and ReNew Power to develop the nascent green hydrogen sector in India

A tripartite joint venture involving three of India's leading energy and engineering firms aims to supply green hydrogen at industrial scale. 

Indian Oil Corporation, a major refiner and fuel retailer, has teamed up with Larsen & Toubro (L&T), the engineering & construction conglomerate, and ReNew Power, the leading renewable energy, to develop the nascent green hydrogen sector in India.

Additionally, IndianOil and L&T have signed a binding term sheet to form a JV with equity participation to manufacture and sell Electrolyzers used in the production of Green Hydrogen.

SN Subrahmanyan, CEO & MD, L&T, said India plans to march ahead in its decarbonisation efforts and production of Green Hydrogen is key in this endeavour.

He said the JV will focus on developing projects in a time-bound manner to supply green hydrogen at an industrial scale.

"L&T will bring its strong EPC credentials to the table, IOC being India's premier oil refiner with extensive capabilities in chemical processes and refining has established deep R&D capabilities in many aspects of green hydrogen value chain, and ReNew Power has in a short time established itself as a leading renewable energy supplier and has built itself a very strong reputation," he said. "We consider this partnership as a significant step in India's quest for alternative energy."

Both JVs aim to enable the nation's 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat' mission to rapidly build, expand and bring in economies of scale to make green hydrogen a cost-effective energy carrier and a chemical feedstock for many sectors."  

Shrikant Madhav Vaidya, Chairman, IndianOil, said it is committed to powering India's drive towards carbon neutrality by leveraging the power of green hydrogen.

"IndianOil is forging this alliance to realise India's green hydrogen aspirations, which is in sync with the Prime Minister's vision of making India a Green Hydrogen generation and export hub," he said.

"To start with, this partnership will focus on green hydrogen projects at our Mathura and Panipat refineries. Alongside, other green hydrogen projects in India will also be evaluated. While the usage of hydrogen in the mobility sector will take its due time, however the refineries will be the pivot around which India's green hydrogen revolution will materialise in a substantial way. The partnership forged today will thus catalyse the greening of India's energy basket." 

Sumant Sinha, Chairman and CEO of ReNew Power, said in alignment with the government's broader strategic climate goals for 2030 and 2070, it looks forward to working with L&T and IndianOil to build the green hydrogen business in India. 

"The timing for these proposed JVs is excellent as they will help support Government of India's recently announced green hydrogen policy to boost India Inc.'s decarbonisation journey," he said.

The planned JVs aim to enable India's transition from a grey hydrogen economy to a greener economy that increasingly manufactures hydrogen via electrolysis powered by renewable energy.

The central government in February notified the Green Hydrogen policy aimed at boosting production of green hydrogen and green ammonia to help the nation become a global hub for the environmentally friendly version of the element.

For countries like India, with its ever-increasing oil and gas import bill, green hydrogen can also help provide crucial energy security by reducing the overall dependence on imported fossil fuels.

While nearly all hydrogen produced in India today is grey, it is estimated that demand for Hydrogen will be 12MMT by 2030 and around 40% of the element produced in the country (around 5MMT) will be green, as per the draft National Hydrogen Mission guidelines.

By 2050, nearly 80% of India's hydrogen is projected to be 'green' – produced by renewable electricity and electrolysis. Green hydrogen may become the most competitive route for hydrogen production by around 2030. This may be driven by potential cost declines in key production technologies and in clean energy technologies such as solar PV and wind turbines.

Today, hydrogen is mainly used in the refining, steel and fertiliser sectors, which will be the focus of the JVs' initial efforts. The country's refining sector consumes approx. 2MMT of grey hydrogen every year, with IndianOil owning one of the largest shares of its refining output.

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