IndianOil to stay ‘smart’ in carbon space, continue to induct alternative energy forms

Our Bureau Chennai | Updated on October 07, 2021

SSV Ramakumar, Director (R&D), IndianOil, at a press conference in Chennai on Wednesday   -  Bijoy Ghosh

New ₹3,200-cr R&D unit to come in 2023

Public sector oil major Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IndianOil) will seek to achieve sustainability in the carbon domain by smartly using the technology even as it accelerates efforts on inducting alternative forms of energy.

For the past decade or so, IndianOil’s philosophy has been to reduce the emission footprint while the company has equally been building capabilities to induct as many alternative energy forms as possible.

“For a country like India with an aspirational double digit GDP growth target in the next 5 years, we can’t totally neglect carbon, which is still the most matured form of energy as well as the cheapest. IndianOil’s philosophy of sustainability is to minimise and mitigate the carbon as output, while staying firmly in the carbon for some time. When we say this, we are not disregarding any other energy form,” said SSV Ramakumar, Director – R&D, Planning and Business Development, Indian Oil Corporation.

While the company has been striving to achieve sustainability in its existing line of businesses, it has also been upgrading not only to achieve self-reliance in certain product categories but also become provider of technology to the global refinery projects.

Major initiatives

Differentiated BS-VI-compliant fuels, integration of refineries with petrochemical manufacturing in order to help the country cut imports of petrochemical products as also to make more products for a range of applications, production of third generation ethanol (based on Lanzatech) and the strategy of blending more ethanol with fuels, hydrogen-based mobility solutions, setting up of 1500 compressed biogas units (from organic waste) across India, are among the major initiatives of the company.

R&D spend

He said the $80-billion company had decided to boost its R&D spend from about ₹500 crore (annual) now. “We have recognised that this is the time for energy transition and IndianOil has to transform into a total energy player. Our board has recently approved the expansion of R&D operations at a cost of ₹3,200 crore, which will be spent in three years. This is the highest-ever R&D spend in oil and gas space,” he said.

The construction work for the new R&D centre, which will come up on a 62-acre site, about 8 km from the present R&D facility at Faridabad, has begun. The second R&D facility is to house five centres of research excellence – material science, biofuels, alternative energy and nanotechnology.

“This campus is going to be totally net zero power and water-neutral campus – completely a green facility. This will become the world's largest renewable energy campus and is being built by the Shapoorji Pallonji & Company. The scheduled date of completion will be July 2023. Our R&D operations now employs about 500 people. With the second facility, the total R&D strength will increase to about 1000 people, said Ramakumar.

With the expanded R&D operations that will focus on new age technologies in the energy space, IndianOil expects its aspirations of becoming a total energy player will be realised.

Published on October 06, 2021

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