PSUs to explore hydrogen fuel feasibility: Dharmendra Pradhan


(left to right) Oil Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, MK Surana HPCL chairman, B Rajkumar BPCL chairman, Sanjiv Singh Indian Oil chairman


New Delhi: Dharmendra Pradhan,Minister PNG on Thursday instructed the ministry officials and heads of the three oil and gas public sector undertakings (PSUs) to explore the feasibility of using hydrogen as a fuel in the Indian ecosystem by collaborating with experts and holding workshops as a starting point.

In a bid to move towards green , the oil ministry has been trying to push for higher adoption of natural gas and alternative fuels to revive its economy .

The minister was inspecting an electric vehicle (EV) powered by hydrogen-fuel cell technology at an event organised by Toyota India in New Delhi.

“India’s massive biomass potential, expanding natural gas coverage, and push for electricity generation from renewables offers a good opportunity to explore hydrogen as well as other green and sustainable sources of energy for a more decarbonised future,” Pradhan said .

In a bid to decrease India’s increasing dependence on imported crude oil, the oil ministry has been trying to push for higher adoption of natural gas and alternative fuels to revive its economy.

India’s oil import dependence reached a record-high of 84.5 per cent in the April-October period of financial year 2019-20 (FY20). Prime Minister Narendra Modi has set a target of reducing crude oil import dependence by 10 per cent by 2022.

The oil ministry through a slew of policy initiatives has tried to push new business models around generation of natural gas and alternative fuels, at a time when increasing the country’s domestic crude oil production from current levels seems like a distant possibility.

The minister further said, after test driving the hydrogen-fuelled EV, instructed officials at the oil ministry and oil and gas PSUs to take a stock of research being done around the country on hydrogen-fuel cell technology and economical production of hydrogen.

Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country’s largest fuel retailer, through its research and development (R&D) centre has been researching on hydrogen-fuel cell technology and on bringing down the cost of producing hydrogen.

S S V Ramakumar, director – R&D, IOC, had said earlier ,that the company had a testing facility for hydrogen fuel stacks and has been running trials on a retrofitted bus running on hydrogen-fuel cell technology. The company also has a first-of-its-kind hydrogen dispensing station at its Faridabad R&D facility.