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RIL, Tata Motors & IOCL are the primary bidders for government’s big project on Green Hydrogen

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MUMBAI : Reliance Industries (RIL), Tata Motors, and Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) are likely to be the primary bidders for the use of government’s experimental project involving green/grey hydrogen (H2) in the transportation sector. This initiative aligns with the government’s goal to decarbonize the Indian economy, lessen reliance on fossil fuel imports, and position India as a leader in green hydrogen technology and market.

The pilot projects aim to address operational challenges and identify gaps in technology readiness, regulations, implementation methods, infrastructure, and supply chains, as per the revised request for proposal (RFP) document.

The hydrogen corridor project aims to facilitate the deployment of hydrogen-powered vehicles like buses, trucks, and cars gradually on a pilot basis. Winners of the technical and commercial bid rounds will receive funds to bridge the viability gap due to the higher initial capital costs of hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The bidding for the Rs 496-crore project commenced in February. It forms a part of the National Green Hydrogen Mission, launched in January 2023 with a budget of Rs 19,744 crore. One of the key requirements for bidders is to participate as a consortium or partners to cover the complete value chain – from hydrogen production and distribution to operating vehicles fueled by hydrogen.

Industry sources told the financial daily that Reliance has teamed up with Ashok Leyland and Daimler India Commercial Vehicles (DICV), while Tata Motors has partnered with IOCL in a consortium. Additionally, Ashok Leyland has collaborated with NTPC for the project.

Indeed, many automakers have been conducting trials with hydrogen-fueled trucks and buses for energy companies like RIL and NTPC for some time now. Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland representatives were unavailable for comments, while a DICV spokesperson confirmed their support to RIL for the project.

RIL, engaged in the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme for electrolyzer and green H2, stands out as the sole end-to-end service provider for the pilot project, covering hydrogen manufacturing, fuel distribution, and operating hydrogen-powered vehicles.

The conglomerate, focusing on the new energy sector in recent years, stands to gain significantly if successful in securing the project bid. This would pave the way for large-scale hydrogen production in line with the government’s objectives.

Industry insiders suggest that starting with grey hydrogen for the project will allow companies to establish infrastructure and ensure smooth operations. Grey hydrogen, produced from natural gas or coal, serves as an interim solution for the transition towards green hydrogen.

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