On EV Transition
The whole objective is to see if this transition is gradual or at least orderly. We don’t know how much time it will take for the transition, but we need to be ready. It also makes sense for us to pursue this besides being environment-friendly. So it is a win-win situation for both sides. If economic growth is at 7-8% for the next few years, electric may chip in with some share. There are various factors and ecosystems which will work towards finding the right equilibrium. It will keep changing year by year in favour of something else. That is what we call dynamic equilibrium. We have around 20,000 energy stations across the country. There are infinite opportunities. We can use it anyway. In battery technologies, India is at least 15 years behind and we are exploring both organic and inorganic opportunities.
On Capacity Expansion
We have done expansions in recent years and have a capacity of 35.3 MMT. Even if diesel and petrol demand grows, we don’t have to expand refining capacity for transportation fuels for the next four-five years. We can increase further 10-15% due to good design of our refineries and that will take care of demand for 10-12 years. BPCL is the only company not im- porting motor spirit [MS]. We are ready with plans to add around 1.2 MMT of ethylene capacity. We also plan to do polypropylene in a big way. Our economy will continue to grow and our petchem demand will grow. For the West, population has saturated and demand is stagnating. It is natural for them to move to solar or electric. Our primary energy demand is growing and so demand for fuel and petchem will be there. Our per capita income is one-fourth of the global average and we are yet to catch up with them in quality of life.
On Natural gas
Gas is the transition fuel and the answer to our energy needs for the next 10-20 years. Before we become a mature economy and demand moves to electric or renewables by 2050 or 2060, the gas horizon is going to grow for the next 20-25 years. Already we have 37 GAs awarded, including in JVs, and these are mostly in urban areas. We have kept aside a good amount for cross-country pipelines and GAs. We are converting our pumps into energy stations, offering at least five fuels — petrol, diesel, gas, flexi-fuels like ethanol and electricity charging stations. These 7,000 outlets will cover 80% of business volume from our pumps. We have balanced assets in exploration and production of gas and oil, an area we have been in for 15 years. In Mozambique, we have 10% stake in a partnership asset and are setting up a 12-MMTPA LNG terminal. We have invested in a producing oilfield in the UAE, and producing gas fields in Russia. We are developing assets in Brazil. Between Mozambique and Brazil, we are investing ₹18,000 crore.
On Green Energy
BPCL is the industrial coordinator for ethanol procurement on behalf of all OMCs. We are on the verge of giving Letter of Intent (LoI) for 440 crore litres of annual production. Besides, we are going to procure 300-350 crore litres of ethanol from sugarcane. With the government mandating ethanol blending to 20% within three years, our demand for ethanol will go up to 100,000 crore litres per year on an industrial basis. In 2G ethanol, where there are commercial viability issues, all three OMCs are setting up one plant each.
Our plant is coming up in Odisha with a capacity of 100 kilolitres per day, and we are adding another 100 KL/day 1G ethanol plant. Our refineries use lots of hydrogen to remove sulphur to make BS6 fuels. We have decided to set up 20 MW of electrolysers at the Bina refinery to make green hydrogen. We are also exploring green hydrogen as a transportation fuel. We are also going to have 1,000 MW of solar/wind capacity and aspire to reach 10,000 MW by 2030.