India’s Reliance aims to become world’s top blue hydrogen producer

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Indian multinational conglomerate company, Reliance Industries aims to be among the largest producers of blue hydrogen at a “competitive cost”, as part of its ambitious green-energy transition plan.

According to a presentation by the company, the Indian conglomerate will re-purpose a $4-billion plant that currently converts petroleum coke (petcoke) into synthesis gas (syngas) to produce blue hydrogen for $1.2-$1.5 per kilogram.

Owned by billionaire Mr. Mukesh Ambani, Reliance has unveiled several plans to reduce its dependence on its mainstay oil-to-chemicals business in the past year and invested in clean energy projects to burnish its green credentials.

Reliance will initially use syngas, produced by petcoke gasifies, to make blue hydrogen for its Jamnagar complex in western Gujarat state, until green hydrogen’s cost comes down.

Hydrogen produced from natural gas and which eliminates emissions by capturing and storing the emitted carbon is called blue hydrogen. Green Hydrogen is extracted from water using electrolysis powered by renewable energy.

“In the interim, till the cost of green hydrogen comes down, Reliance Industries can be the first mover to establish a hydrogen ecosystem, with minimal incremental investment, in India. Subsequently, as hydrogen from syngas is replaced by green hydrogen, the entire syngas will be converted to chemicals,” the company said.

Mr. Ambani, who wants to move his group to net-zero carbon emissions by 2035, last month announced plans to invest $79 billion to set up green energy projects including a 100-gigawatt renewable energy power plant. 

The Indian billionaire has vowed to produce green hydrogen at $1 per kilogram, more than a 60 percent reduction from current costs, by the turn of this decade.

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