India's Reliance looks to green energy, hydrogen as aims for net zero

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - India’s Reliance Industries, operator of the world’s biggest refining complex, said on Wednesday its non-energy businesses and increased use of renewable power would help it meet a goal of net zero carbon by 2035.

FILE PHOTO: A bird flies past a Reliance Industries logo installed on its mart in Ahmedabad, India January 16, 2017. REUTERS/Amit Dave

The leading petrochemical producer and operator of a refining complex in the western Gujarat state that can daily process 1.4 million barrels of crude is also present in India’s retail and telecom sectors.

Reliance has traditionally used its own fossil fuel-fired generation for its giant refineries and manufacturing plants.

Now the company is “aggressively working” towards using renewable power from the grid, Sanjiv Singh, president of Reliance’s oil to chemical business said at IHS CERAWEEK.

As pressure mounts on the energy industry to reduce its carbon emissions, governments and companies globally are betting on clean hydrogen playing a leading role, but its future uses and costs are uncertain.

Singh said Reliance was among those seeking to use green hydrogen, or hydrogen produced using only renewable energy.

“Utilisation of green hydrogen will become a very big option. Now we are working on different options for producing green hydrogen,” he said.

Singh, who joined Reliance in August after retiring as chairman of the country’s biggest refiner and fuel retailer Indian Oil Corp, said Reliance’s 2035 target was challenging because of the company’s sheer size.

“Nevertheless we are committed to achieve this,” he said, adding the group’s less energy intensive activities and efficient energy use would play the biggest part.

In addition, Singh said Reliance was working on investing in technologies to capture and store carbon for conversion into products and chemicals to decarbonise its business.

“I think no single formula is going to work to achieve this (2035 net zero carbon) target but a combination of everything. I am sure that we are going to achieve this target,” he said.

Morgan Stanley in a report last month said Reliance could invest $13 billion-$15 billion over a decade to build a portfolio of 18 gigawatts of renewables, 15 gigawatts for battery manufacturing and 3 gigawatts of hydrogen fuel sales amongst others.

Reporting by Nidhi Verma; editing by Barbara Lewis