State-owned GAIL (India) Ltd will build one of India's largest proton exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer at Guna in Madhya Pradesh to produce green hydrogen by the end of 2023, as it looks to supplement its natural gas business with carbon-free fuel.
In a statement, India's largest gas transporting and marketing firm said it has awarded the contract to set up the PEM-based project that will produce 4.3 tonnes of green hydrogen per day (about 10 MW capacity), which will be mixed in natural gas for supply to industries.
Hydrogen is the latest buzz for meeting the world's energy needs. Hydrogen can be produced in three different ways – through coal gasification (brown hydrogen), deriving it from methane in natural gas (blue hydrogen) and using renewable energy to split water in an electrolyzer to produce green hydrogen. Green hydrogen is the cleanest of all with zero carbon emission.
"In line with the National Hydrogen Mission, GAIL has awarded a contract to set up one of the largest PEM electrolyzers in India. The project would be installed at GAIL's Vijaipur Complex in Guna District of Madhya Pradesh, and would be based on renewable power," the statement said.
The project has been designed to produce around 4.3 metric tonnes of hydrogen per day (approximately 10 MW capacity) with a purity of about 99.999 percent. "It is scheduled to be commissioned by November 2023," it said, adding the project has been awarded to a vendor having a domestic value addition of more than 50 percent.
The company, however, did not give the cost and other details of the project. Earlier, in January this year, GAIL had commenced India's first-of-its-kind project of mixing Hydrogen into the natural gas system. Hydrogen blended natural gas is being supplied to one of GAIL's joint venture company with HPCL — Avantika Gas Limited (AGL), which is a city gas distribution (CGD) company operating in Indore, Madhya Pradesh.
To date, GAIL has been successful in blending up to 2 percent hydrogen in natural gas in the CGD network. The 10 MW capacity is one of the largest so far in the country.
It is double the size of the one announced by state electricity producer NTPC. Indian Oil Corp (IOC) has also announced plans to build a green hydrogen plant at its Mathura refinery.
The hydrogen GAIL plans to produce can be sold to fertiliser units, which, as per government mandate, are required to use hydrogen as fuel. India's largest gas-transporting and marketing company is also looking at newer avenues to boost business, including pushing for use of LNG as fuel in long-haul trucking.For India to achieve the target of raising the share of natural gas in the energy basket to 15 percent gas usage by 2030 from the current 6.2 percent, gas consumption has to rise three-and-a-half times to 600 million standard cubic meters per day.