India progresses with its hydrogen initiatives

The government announcement to promote green hydrogen is proving supportive.

The Indian hydrogen fuel market has remained very active this week, with several national and international agreements signed to promote the emerging green fuel in the country, H2 Bulletin reports.

Since Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharman announced the launch of the National Hydrogen Mission in her 2021-2022 Union Budget of India on 1st February, several initiatives have been taken.

Indian Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and US energy secretary Jennifer Granholm have held a virtual meeting on Monday to revamp the India-US Strategic Energy Partnership (SEP) with a focus on promoting clean energy with low-carbon pathways and accelerating green energy cooperation

Both agreed to prioritise greater collaboration in the cleaner energy sector- biofuels, carbon capture utilisation and storage (CCUS), hydrogen production and carbon sequestration through technology exchange, joint R&D through Partnership to Advance Clean Energy Research (PACE-R), among other initiatives.

Last week, the Hydrogen Energy Centre at Banaras Hindu University, India and the New Delhi based National Hydro Power Corporation (NHPC) agreed to collaborate on a pilot project of hydrogen energy development.

In a separate development last week, Italy’s Maire Tecnimont Spa said that its subsidiaries NextChem, Stamicarbon and Met Development signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Adani Enterprises Ltd (AEL) to explore the development of industrial projects with a focus on producing chemicals, ammonia and hydrogen from renewable feedstock.

AEL is part of the Adani Group, a significant energy group with 14 GW renewable assets under operation, construction and contracts. Maire Tecnimont Group has a presence in India with over 2,200 engineers and 3,000 electrical & instrumentation professionals in Mumbai.

Pierroberto Folgiero, Maire Tecnimont Group CEO, said, “India, our second home, is playing an increasingly strategic role in the green acceleration roadmap which Maire Tecnimont Group has been implementing so far.”

Jayant Parimal, Advisor to Chairman, Adani Group, said, “Adani Group is at the forefront of India’s energy transition, and green hydrogen is a natural extension of our globally leading renewable portfolio.  Scaling up the green hydrogen economy will require multiple use-cases, including green ammonia and green chemicals.

Mr Parimal further added, “This partnership brings Maire Tecnimont’s formidable technical and project management expertise in ammonia and green chemistry with Adani’s world-class execution and scale in renewables.”

Meanwhile, in another separate development, Acme Solar Holdings Ltd has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Oman’s Tatweer for the Development of the Special Economic Zone at Duqm, Oman, to set up the facility of producing 2,200 million tonnes/day of green ammonia under a planned investment of US$ 2.5 billion (€ 2.1 billion). The plant will supply green ammonia to the export market. This project will help Oman achieve its Vision 2040 for alternative energy as well as boost India and Oman bilateral relations. Acme is also developing a green hydrogen and ammonia pilot plant in Rajasthan, which is expected to come online by April 2021.

Moreover, the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) has said this month that it plans to sell two hydrogen-generating units at its Koyali refinery in Gujarat to private companies to monetise non-core assets and leverage operational efficiencies. The company aims to complete both units’ sales, each with 72,500 tonnes/year capacity, by the end of 2021.

On 17th March, Indian Oil Corporation Limited entered into collaboration with an Israeli start-up company, Phinergy, which specialises in hybrid lithium-ion and aluminium-air/zinc-air battery systems, and established IOC Phinergy Private Limited. Among other works, the new Indo-Israeli JV will aim to develop fuel cells and indigenous hydrogen storage solutions for promoting green mobility. Two of India’s leading automakers- Maruti Suzuki and Ashok Leyland, also signed a Letter of Intent (LOI) with the newly incorporated JV IOC Phinergy Limited.

Shahkar Ali

Shahkar is the regional representative for Asia covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact him directly via email or follow him on social media.
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