The company plans to invest about $75bn in renewables infrastructure
Reliance Industries plans to repurpose a $4billion plant that converts petroleum coke into synthesis gas to produce blue hydrogen. Photo: Reuters
Reliance Industries, led by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, aims to be among the largest producers of blue hydrogen at “competitive cost” in its green energy transition plan.
The Mumbai-based company will repurpose a $4 billion plant that converts petroleum coke into synthesis gas to produce blue hydrogen for between $1.2 and $1.5 a kilogram, according to a presentation.
Blue hydrogen is made using fossil fuels but captures the carbon dioxide formed during production, and Reliance regards 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.”
Mr Ambani, who has built a fortune on fossil fuels, plans to replace sales of road fuels such as 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 increase hydrogen production.
Mr Ambani has vowed to produce green hydrogen at $1 a kilo, a more than 60 per cent reduction from today’s costs, by the turn of the decade.
Last month, he announced plans to invest about $75bn in renewables infrastructure, which could transform India into a clean-hydrogen leader in line with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s mission.