Essar to invest Rs 30,000 cr in green hydrogen plant

Essar Group is set to make a significant stride in clean energy with a Rs 30,000 crore investment in a green hydrogen plant at Jamnagar, Gujarat. This ambitious project, to be developed over the next four years, marks the conglomerate’s commitment to green energy as a cornerstone of its growth strategy.

The initiative includes decarbonizing Essar’s UK oil refinery, establishing a green steel plant in Saudi Arabia, and creating an LNG and electric ecosystem for long-haul heavy trucks. Additionally, Essar is considering ventures into mining critical minerals essential for electric vehicle batteries, solar panels, and wind-turbine magnets.

Essar Future Energy, the division spearheading this green hydrogen project, aims to develop a 1-gigawatt hydrogen capacity and produce 1 million tonnes per annum of associated green molecules at the Jamnagar site. The project will leverage 4.5 GW of renewable energy from Essar Renewables to electrolyze water, producing hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen, a zero-emission fuel, offers diverse applications including powering vehicles, generating electricity, and heating homes and businesses.

However, the challenge of hydrogen transportation necessitates converting it to green ammonia, which can be shipped more easily. Ruia emphasized Essar’s innovative approach to creating transportable green molecules directly, potentially bypassing the costly conversion back to hydrogen.

This green hydrogen initiative is part of Essar’s broader energy strategy, which includes expanding coal-based electricity generation alongside renewable energy projects. Essar Power is set to augment its 1,200 MW Salaya-DevBhoomi Dwarka thermal power plant by an additional 1,600 MW to meet Gujarat’s energy demands. The group also aims to scale its renewable energy capacity to 10,000 MW within the next 3-5 years.

In the green mobility sector, Essar is developing an LNG and electric ecosystem to reduce emissions from heavy trucks, a major source of road pollution. Essar operates a fleet of 450-500 LNG-powered trucks and plans to expand its LNG supply network. LNG-powered trucks significantly cut CO2 emissions and eliminate harmful NOx and SOx emissions. Essar’s electric trucks, while limited to shorter ranges, offer zero emissions, with the combined use of LNG and electric trucks potentially reducing CO2 emissions by 60-70%.

Beyond green hydrogen and mobility, Essar is also advancing its gas production capabilities. Essar Oil and Gas Exploration and Production Limited (EOGEPL), India’s leading coal bed methane (CBM) producer, plans to increase its gas output from current levels significantly. The company is investing Rs 2,000-3,000 crore to boost its gas-based portfolio and is exploring shale gas potential in West Bengal’s Raniganj block, aiming to replicate the shale revolution seen in the US.

Internationally, Essar is investing $3.6 billion to decarbonize its Stanlow refinery in the UK and USD 4 billion to build a green steel plant in Saudi Arabia, which will utilize hydrogen. With these initiatives, Essar Group is positioning itself at the forefront of the global energy transition, driving towards a sustainable and low-carbon future.

Tags: Essar, Green Hydrogen, LNG, Oil refinery
Share with your friends