Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), an Indian state-owned company, will construct India’s largest green hydrogen-making facility to bolster its natural gas operations with carbon-free fuel. It has issued a global tender for the procurement of an electrolyser. The plant will take 12-14 months to establish. The company has chosen 2-3 locations for the unit, one of which is in Vijaipur, Madhya Pradesh. The plant will have a capacity of 10 MW, making it the country’s largest green hydrogen project so far. NTPC Limited, another Indian state-owned power company, had announced the construction of a 5 MW green hydrogen plant earlier. In addition, the hydrogen GAIL plans to produce can be sold to fertiliser units which as per the government’s mandate may be required to use green hydrogen.
According to the company’s statement, gas consumption must increase three and a half times to 600 million standard cubic metres per day in order for India to meet its aim of increasing the share of natural gas in the energy basket to 15 per cent by 2030 from the present 6.2 per cent. The industry will set up 20 LNG dispensing stations on Golden Quadrilateral by March 2022 and 500-600 outlets in 3-4 years. The ultimate target is 1,000 LNG stations.
In July 2021, GAIL announced that it would invest about Rs 50 billion towards the development of 1 GW of renewable energy projects as well as compressed biogas and ethanol projects. GAIL also planned to set up the pipeline infrastructure to connect consumption centres to gas sources. Of the total investment, about Rs 40 billion will be put towards renewable energy, while Rs 8-10 billion will be invested in building at least two biogas plants and one ethanol factory. The ethanol units would convert agricultural waste or sugarcane into a less polluting fuel that could be doped with petrol. GAIL also planned to set up a compressed biogas plant in Ranchi with a capacity of producing five tonnes of biogas and 25 tonnes of bio-manure per day. This project has an estimated cost of about Rs 2-3 billion. Further, GAIL also issued an expression of interest for setting up the compressed biogas plants.