BPCL plans 'green' hydrogen for BORL at Bina

Vol 25, PW 1 (02 Dec 21) Midstream, Downstream, Renewables

Bharat Petroleum subsidiary Bharat Oman Refineries (BORL) has kick-started work to install up to 20-MW of electrolyser capacity to generate green hydrogen in line with BPCL chairman AK Singh's target.

On November 11 (2021), BORL invited EoIs from companies that can design, engineer, supply, install and commission a 'pilot' 5-MW electrolyser to produce green hydrogen at its 7.8 m t/y Bina refinery in Madhya Pradesh. Using wind or solar-generated 'green' electricity, the electrolyser will split water into hydrogen and oxygen.

"We want to install a 5-MW electrolyser," confirms a BORL source. "If the pilot is successful, we will scale up to produce more 'green' hydrogen."

BORL wants EoIs by December 9 (2021) and will open them a day later, on December 10 (2021). "BORL will mix the new 'green' hydrogen with 'grey' hydrogen already produced at the refinery," adds our source.

Unlike environmentally friendly 'green' hydrogen, the Bina refinery currently produces 'grey hydrogen' using methane used in its refinery units. According to the 18-page EoI notice, BORL wants feasible and cost-effective water electrolyser technology from any company or consortium with experience in manufacturing and installing similar systems.

"BORL also wants to identify technology options for scalability to meet the future 'green' hydrogen requirements of the company," reads the EoI notice. On November 24 (2021), the Economic Times newspaper quoted BPCL chairman AK Singh announcing that the company wants to pilot a 20-MW electrolyser at Bina.

"We will not wait until long to float another tender for capacity expansion," he told ET. "As costs come down, we will seek more electrolysers, probably much bigger than this."

Not just BPCL, but IndianOil too announced on July 23 (2021) that it plans to build its first 'green' hydrogen plant at its 8m t/y Mathura refinery in Uttar Pradesh. IndianOil chairman SM Vaidya was quoted in the announcement saying the company's "experiment" in Delhi where it converted 50 buses to run on H-CNG fuel, a mixture of CNG and up to 9% hydrogen, "revealed significant benefits in reducing exhaust emissions and improving fuel economy."