With the growing appetite for hydrogen, Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd (CPCL) seeks to emerge as a Hydrogen Production Hub, not only to meet its captive consumption but also to supply Green Hydrogen for mobility and other energy-based requirements, including petrochemical production.

“We are looking to actively participate as a stakeholder of Hydrogen Valley Innovation Cluster in collaboration with IIT-Madras, Tamil Nadu government and other industrial partners, Arvind Kumar, Managing Director, CPCL said on the sidelines of the conference on “Emerging Technologies for the Chemical Sector” here.

IIT-Madras along with industry partners is developing a pilot electrolyzer and it will be installed at our site to produce green hydrogen.

Diversifying resources

He said that carbon capture technologies would offer yet another solution to expand the feedstock availability. Green hydrogen produced by electrolyzers in combination with CO2 could also act as a raw material to produce the building blocks. CPCL, being one of the largest refiners in this country, consumes a considerable amount of hydrogen.

CPCL has three steam methane reformers with a combined capacity of generating 98 KTPA of hydrogen. For each tonne of hydrogen produced, it is estimated that around 9 to 12 tons of CO2 is generated. CPCL is now looking for options to trap this CO2 and market it as a product for downstream industries that may process it further or utilise the CO2 as such.

Providing an update on the 9 MMTPA refinery project at Cauvery Basin Refinery, Nagapattinam, he said the CPCL has got the required additional 600-odd acres of the land from the district administration. With this, it is now in possession of 1,200 acres for the proposed project, which is being implemented through a JV in which IndianOil and CPCL will together hold 50 per cent of the equity stake (25 per cent each) and the balance 50 per cent stake would be held by other financial/strategic investors, to be identified at a later stage.

“Fencing and ground levelling work is being up and we hope to get a few approvals in the next few months and after which the work may commence,” he said.

The Chemical Industry conference discussed the way forward for India’s Chemical Industry which is currently valued at $180 billion and expected to grow to 300 billion by 2030.

“Specialty Chemicals are among the sub-sectors posting robust growth within India. Make in India and Atmanirbhar programmes coupled with opportunities arising from China +1 policies have paved the way for large investments in this sub-sector, GSK Velu, President, FICCI Tamil Nadu State Council.

S Venkataraghavan, President, Chemical Industries Association stated that there was a need to bring large investments into the chemical sector to support downstream users at competitive costs, convert existing complexes to Integrated complexes and establish new chemical complexes with a focus on sustainability bringing in circularity and inclusiveness and enhance skill levels and bridge gap between academic knowledge and practical skills, build entrepreneurship though initiatives such as CSDC (Chem Skill Development Centre).