On EV Transformation
India’s EV industry is in a very nascent stage, if you look at the sales so far. A lot of other issues like the cost factor, range anxiety, battery issue, etc. need to be addressed before it becomes a threat. We have to import lithium batteries. So the shift can be from oil imports to lithium imports. At Indian Oil, we are developing aluminium air oxide batteries in a tie-up with an Israeli company (Phinergy Ltd.). Trials are going on in Israel, and the Proof of Concept has already been done. Once the field trials succeed, we will put up a manufacturing unit for aluminium air batteries. India is one of the largest producers of aluminium and we will be ready for competition when the actual EV revolution comes. The EV industry needs to develop the ecosystem. It is not just charging stations, battery-swapping stations. It is a long-haul journey and we are taking the right steps. As and when these will be a threat to pure oil products, we will be able to ramp up our entry in this area in a big way.
On Green Fuels
The path of transition is different for each country. India is set to become a $5-trillion economy, one of the fastest-growing in the world. For that to happen, we require huge energy consumption. Today our per capita energy consumption is just one-third of the global average. So, we will not be relying only on one form of energy to supply all these needs. It will be fossil fuels, gas, renewables and biofuels. We call ourselves an energy company and not a fossil-fuel company. Europe had taken seven-eight years to go from BS4 to BS6, we took only three years.
Compressed biogas (CBG) from agri-waste, which has a potential of 15 MT/year, is going to be a key biofuel. Nearly one-fifth of India’s GDP comes from the farm sector. We are encouraging entrepreneurs to set up CBG plants and giving them off-take guarantees. The Centre has recently allowed CBG retail sales, as an automotive fuel. We are investing around ₹1,000 crore in CBG and 2G ethanol segments. Hydrogen is another promising area where the company is exploring different pathways.
IOC has 250 MW of energy portfolio comprising wind and solar capacities. Over 18,000 of our 32,000 retail outlets are powered by solar or wind. We plan to run our refineries with 85% renewables and 15% gas, and have recently inked an MoU with NTPC for renewables. We are also investing in green and blue hydrogen, in Mathura with (35 megawatt hour (MWh) capacity and Panipat refinery (15MWh).
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