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Modi Govts’ Hydrogen mission starts as IOCL launches a call for tenders for the green units of Panipat and Mathura

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Narendra Modi government’s national hydrogen mission kicks off with Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) launching a global tender to install green hydrogen production units at two of its major refineries in North India . IOCL is India’s largest trading company, operating the largest number of refineries in the country.

In accordance with government guidelines, as a starting measure, IOCL intends to set up green hydrogen production units at the Mathura and Panipat refineries with installed capacities of 5,000 MT per year and 2,000 MT. per year respectively on the basis of construction and operation (BOO), the expression document of interest (EOI), viewed by News18, said.

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He indicates that the operating period will be 16 to 24 years and that the green hydrogen units must be put into service within 28 months of the issuance of the work order. The Panipat refinery and petrochemical complex currently have a refining capacity of 15 MMTPA while the refinery located in Mathura has an operating capacity of 8 MMTPA. This could be a major boost to the government’s vision of an Atmanirbhar Bharat.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced in November 2020 his intention to launch a comprehensive national mission on hydrogen energy. Subsequently, in this year’s budget speech, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced the national hydrogen mission to produce hydrogen from green energy sources and establish a roadmap for the hydrogen for the country.

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In April, then Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said India was looking to kickstart the development of the hydrogen ecosystem. He had pointed out that the Indian oil sector was the largest producer of hydrogen for refinery processing operations and that the sector had the capacity to produce hydrogen molecules, stored and marketed as gas, making a strong follower. of this new form of energy.

The IOCL plan

The global EOI launched by IOCL indicates that the production of green hydrogen in its two units offered at Panipat and Mathura will be continuous (24 × 7) with renewable energy using the method of electrolysis of water. This green hydrogen will be mixed with the existing gray hydrogen network (H2 produced from naphtha or natural gas) for captive purposes in secondary processing units, the document said. He adds that by-products such as oxygen can be sold on the basis of a merchantable sale by the operator, but IOCL would reserve the rights to first use the oxygen. IOCL will provide land to build, own, operate and maintain the green hydrogen plant. Experienced Indian and foreign operators were invited to bid.

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The Panipat and Mathura refineries are among the 11 refineries operated by Indian Oil and its subsidiaries. GAIL Chairman Manoj Jain also said last month that the state-owned company will build India’s largest green hydrogen production plant and finalized 2-3 sites for the unit.

State power producer NTPC also recently announced a green hydrogen plant. Other big companies like Reliance Industries also have big plans. The National Hydrogen Mission aims to make India a global hub for manufacturing hydrogen and fuel cell technologies along the value chain, in line with the ideas of Make in India and Atmanirbhar Bharat .

A bigger picture

Green hydrogen is also a key facet of India’s goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2070, as announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the recent Climate Summit (COP) in Glasgow. India wants to transform the current situation where currently all of its hydrogen production comes from fossil fuels.

Former Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan said in April that green hydrogen was needed for broad access to affordable energy to improve the lives of Indians, coupled with the need for a lower carbon footprint. Hydrogen has great potential to become a future source of energy. The enthusiasm for hydrogen has a simple reason: Whether it’s used in a fuel cell or burned to produce heat, wherever hydrogen replaces fossil fuels, it slows global warming, Pradhan said.

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