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IOC to set up green hydrogen plants at all refineries

India’s top oil firm IOC will set up green hydrogen plants at all its refineries as it pivots a Rs 2-lakh crore green transition plan to achieve net-zero emissions from its operations by 2046, its chairman Shrikant Madhav Vaidya said.

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More About The Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOC’s) re-modelling of business:

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is re-modelling business with an increased focus on petrochemicals to hedge volatility in the fuel business, while at the same time turning petrol pumps into energy outlets that offer EV charging points and battery swapping options besides conventional fuels as it looks to make itself future-ready, he said.

India’s Increasing Oil Demand:

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The company intends to expand its refining capacity to 106.7 million tonnes per annum from 81.2 million tonnes as it sees India’s oil demand climbing from 5.1 million barrels per day to 7-7.2 million bpd by 2030 and 9 million bpd by 2040.

Significance of IOC’s Hydrogen Push:

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Hydrogenthe cleanest known fuel that discharges only oxygen and water when burnt — is being touted as the fuel of the future, but its relatively higher cost then alternate fuel currently limit its usage in industries. Refineries, which turn crude oil into fuel such as petrol and diesel, use hydrogen to lower the sulfur content of diesel fuel.

This hydrogen is currently produced using fossil fuels such as natural gas. IOC plans to use electricity generated from renewable sources such as solar to split water to produce green hydrogen. Vaidya said the company will set up a 7,000 tonnes per annum green hydrogen producing facility at its Panipat oil refinery at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore by 2025.

Currently, IOC’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emission, emanating majorly from the company’s refining operations, is 21.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) per annum. This will rise to 40.44 MMTCO2e by 2030 after considering the expansions planned and taking the emissions of its subsidiaries into account.

The company plans to use natural gas in refineries in place of liquid fuels as well as replace grey hydrogen (produced from fossil fuel) with green one that is manufactured from renewable power.

It plans for green hydrogen to account for 50 per cent of its overall hydrogen output in 5-10 years and 100 per cent by 2040.

Vaidya also said IOC plans to raise renewable energy capacity to 12 gigawatts from current 256 MW, and would have electric vehicle charging facilities at 10,000 fuel stations in two years.

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