Mumbai: Reliance Industries Ltd., owned by Asia’s richest man Mukesh Ambani, plans to become the largest producers of blue hydrogen at “competitive cost” in its ambitious green-energy transition plan.
The Mumbai-based company will re-purpose a $4-billion plant that currently converts petroleum coke into synthesis gas to produce blue hydrogen for $1.2-$1.5 a kilogram, according to a presentation.
The so-called blue hydrogen is made using fossil fuels but captures the carbon dioxide formed during its production, and Reliance sees the conversion as a temporary measure until the cost of green hydrogen, produced from the electrolysis of water using renewable energy, becomes competitive.
“In the interim, till cost of green hydrogen comes down, RIL can be the first mover to establish a hydrogen ecosystem, with minimal incremental investment, in India,” the company said. “Subsequently, as hydrogen from syngas is replaced by green hydrogen, the entire syngas will be converted to chemicals.”
Ambani, who’s built his fortune on fossil fuels, plans to replace sales of road fuels like diesel and gasoline with cleaner alternatives as he seeks to hit a net-zero target for his conglomerate by 2035. The project would compete with international plants such as one proposed in Saudi Arabia, which is also seeking to boost hydrogen production.
Ambani has vowed to produce green hydrogen at $1 per kilogram, a more than 60% reduction from today’s costs, by the turn of this decade. Last month, he announced plans to invest about $75 billion in renewables infrastructure, which could transform India into a clean-hydrogen juggernaut that’s aligned with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission.