Engineering major, L&T, is “going through the evaluation process” for a possible entry into the manufacture of electrolysers – equipment that produce hydrogen by splitting water.

Disclosing this in response to a question at a virtual press conference today, L&T’s Whole-time Director and Senior Executive Vice President (Energy), Subramanian Sarma, pointed out that there were many electrolyser technologies, each with its own supply chain.

“We are looking at the entire supply chain,” he said. “It is very much on the cards,” he said. However, when asked when an announcement might be expected, he said, “If we decide to go ahead, an announcement could come this financial year.”

Also read: L&T Finance Holdings’ Q2 net profit down 15.5%

L&T is putting up a green hydrogen plant at its Hazira complex, which would be completed this financial year. It was also said at the press conference that the company might put up a few more green hydrogen plants at other of its manufacturing complexes. However, the evaluation is on whether or not to get into manufacture of electrolysers, as a business.

CO2 concrete

L&T, being an infrastructure major that builds roads, bridges and buildings, uses a lot of concrete. Globally, technologies are evolving to make ‘green concrete’ by using carbon dioxide for concrete curing, which would also reduce the need for water for that purpose.

Asked if L&T had started using carbon dioxide in the making of concrete for its construction, Sarma said that the technology was still only evolving and L&T was “studying” it. He observed that a major challenge was to capture the carbon dioxide from sources that emit the gas, the technology for which again was yet to mature. It was also noted that if carbon dioxide could be used in the manufacture of concrete, L&T would save a good amount of water consumption.

Net zero by 2040

Releasing L&T’s ‘4th Integrated Report’, which deals with the company’s sustainability initiatives, Sarma, along with R Shankar Raman, Whole-time Director & Chief Financial Officer and Anup Sahay, Head – Corporate Strategy and Special Initiatives, said that by 2040, L&T’s operations would be net-zero emissions. Ninety per cent of this would come from switching over to initiatives such as renewable energy, green hydrogen and biodiesel; the other 10 per cent would be offset by creating carbon sinks.

L&T has been planting about a million trees a year for the last four years, and would continue to do so for the next ten years, so as to create “a significant carbon sink”.

It was said that the company would spend between ₹1,000 crore and ₹5,000 crore on its green initiatives, spread over a number of years. Asked if the company would tap the carbon markets for selling offsets, Sarma observed that the option was open. Asked if the company would raise funds via the ‘green bond’ route, Shankar Raman pointed out that there was no cost advantage in doing so.