Green hydrogen has a crucial role to play in India’s energy transition
In an interview with Energy Connects, Alessandro Bernini, CEO, Maire Tecnimont Group, outlines how the company aims to leverage its capacity for innovation to support its market leadership in the natural resources transformation sector, and why India Energy Week is a significant milestone for the industry.
What is the significance of having the launch of India Energy Week, both to your company and to the global oil, gas and energy industry?
As the first major energy event under India’s G20 Presidency calendar, India Energy Week 2023 provided an unprecedented opportunity for energy innovators at a time when India seeks to diversify its energy mix. Current dramatic events are rapidly changing the international energy scenario and posing even tougher diversification targets. In this rapidly evolving sector, Maire Tecnimont aims to leverage its capacity for innovation and technological know-know to support its market leadership in the natural resources transformation sector with a particular focus on the energy transition through green chemistry and circular economy.
As the first event of its kind that brings together conventional and unconventional energy companies on the same platform, how do you think India Energy Week will help build synergy between the two segments?
As India Energy Week provides a platform for experts in the conventional and unconventional energy industry from around the world, it represents India’s energy ambitions by providing opportunities for industry leaders to accelerate synergies between stakeholders and identify new growth opportunities for them. Companies are driving this effort by setting carbon-reduction targets and adopting new technological solutions to achieve them so to help industrial plants reduce greenhouse gas emissions, implement chemical recycling of plastic waste, green ammonia, and low-carbon hydrogen production.
How important is the India market to Maire Tecnimont?
India is the third largest primary energy consumer in the world and the third biggest producer of renewable energy globally. The country intends to meet 50% of its energy needs through renewable sources and is playing an increasingly strategic role in the green acceleration roadmap in which the group is actively participating.
Maire Tecnimont is present in India with its engineering hub, Tecnimont Private Limited, headquartered in Mumbai and employing 2,200 people while the recently opened New Delhi office will further expands the group’s presence in the country in response to India’s journey towards a hydrogen-based and carbon-neutral industry and economy. Our vision is to contribute towards the global drive to support the green energy transition with most of the public and private companies working on green hydrogen, green chemistry, and circular economy initiatives. We acknowledge that India has enormous potential in this field.
What major projects are you working on in India? How are you looking expanding your footprint in India?
We are active in India as a technology driven contractor in the natural resources transformation sector with several strategic projects ongoing for main public companies. Furthermore, in the last couple of years, Maire Tecnimont has been in advance discussion with some public and private entities for the sustainability initiatives to support the hard-to-abate industry towards the decarbonisation targets.
In particular, the group has a project underway for GAIL (India) Limited for a green hydrogen production plant in central India. Additionally, with IOCL, Maire Tecnimont has been developing several green initiatives, including plastic upcycling projects; with NTPC it is exploring the development of commercial scale green methanol projects. The group has also secured various agreements with large Indian private players for green hydrogen projects focusing on producing chemicals, ammonia, and hydrogen from renewable feedstock.
What is your outlook for the hydrogen market in India? Are you looking to expand your hydrogen projects in the country?
The Indian market is preparing for the development of several energy transition projects and clean hydrogen will be key for such transition, as the recently announced National Green Hydrogen Mission testifies. Hydrogen has a crucial role to play in several industrial sectors including fertilisers, refining, methanol, maritime shipping, and iron and steel, not only to achieve decarbonisation but also to increase energy independence.
Over the next two to four years we expect to build several medium size clean hydrogen production projects for public sector clients. The 10MW electrolysis plant we are constructing for GAIL is a great example of what we will see in the coming years.
In the private sector, we see a keen interest in the so-called power to X projects, aimed at producing green chemicals at scale, such as ammonia or methanol from renewable electricity both for export and for internal use. Maire Tecnimont can leverage decades long experience in these sectors, which will be at the service of enabling and facilitating the energy transition.
Given the vibrant technological landscape in India, we also expect to be part of the growth in technological solution in the hydrogen arena, such as innovative and giga-scale electrolysis manufacturing factories serving the internal and the international market.
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