As the world grapples with the urgent need for sustainable energy solutions, India is poised to take a significant leap forward in its energy transition journey. Oil-marketing companies (OMCs) in the country are gearing up to submit a joint road map that outlines their commitment to the adoption of green hydrogen, a move that aligns with their energy transition plans.
The Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Gas has proactively urged OMCs to present detailed plans on integrating green hydrogen into their operations. Public-sector undertakings (PSUs) under the ministry have set ambitious targets, aiming to produce over 1 million tonnes of green hydrogen by 2030. This strategic push towards green hydrogen is expected to contribute not only to environmental sustainability but also to the diversification of the country’s energy sources.
Government officials revealed that ongoing discussions between the ministry and OMCs aim to establish a cohesive strategy for green hydrogen production. The envisioned joint road map is not only intended to enhance coordination and demand mapping but also to foster collaboration among OMCs, allowing them to provide mutual technical assistance.
One avenue for green hydrogen uptake is through city gas distribution (CGD), where it will be blended with natural gas. Refineries across the country already use hydrogen for internal purposes, offering a potential source for the conversion to green hydrogen. Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) has been at the forefront of these efforts, testing hydrogen-enriched natural gas (HENG) for transportation through existing natural gas pipelines. The versatile nature of this blend, which can consist of 10 to 20 percent hydrogen by volume, positions it as a promising near-term option.
IOCL recently invited global tenders for its first green hydrogen generation plant at the Panipat refinery, signaling a significant step towards realizing its green hydrogen ambitions. While earlier plans for green hydrogen units in Panipat and Mathura refineries did not materialize, the focus has now shifted to the Panipat refinery, with a capacity of 10 KTA (thousands tonnes per annum) and a projected completion timeline of 30 months.
Other major players in the Indian oil and gas sector are also making strides in green hydrogen adoption. Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited is establishing a 20-megawatt green hydrogen unit at its Bina refinery in Madhya Pradesh, primarily to meet captive hydrogen requirements. Meanwhile, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) is reportedly in the process of setting up a substantial 370 mtpa green hydrogen plant at its Visakhapatnam refinery in Andhra Pradesh.
It is noteworthy that these PSUs are not confining their efforts to the domestic landscape alone. In a global display of commitment, a consortium comprising HPCL and green energy provider ACME has submitted bids for green hydrogen/ammonia-related projects in Germany and Oman. This signifies India’s active participation in the international green energy landscape.
As the joint road map for green hydrogen adoption takes shape, India’s oil-marketing companies are signaling a paradigm shift towards sustainable energy practices. The concerted efforts of these industry players, backed by government initiatives, are likely to accelerate the country’s transition to a greener and more sustainable energy future.