At IEW, climate change mitigation will be common ground for both conventional energy & RE companies: EIL CMD

Climate change mitigation will be the common ground for both conventional and non-conventional energy companies when they take to the forum at IEW, EIL CMD Vartika Shukla said
At IEW, climate change mitigation will be common ground for both conventional energy & RE companies: EIL CMD
At IEW, climate change mitigation will be common ground for both conventional energy & RE companies: EIL CMD

New Delhi: The India Energy Week (IEW) will provide a platform to both conventional and non-conventional energy companies to deliberate on taking a giant leap in the uncharted territory of cost-effective, low-carbon emission energy solutions, said Vartika Shukla, the Chairperson of Engineers India Ltd (EIL). In an interview to PSU Watch, Shukla said that climate change mitigation will be the common ground for both conventional and non-conventional energy companies when they take to the forum at IEW in Bengaluru next month.

Here are excerpts:

Q. What are you looking forward to the most at India Energy Week?

A. As you are aware that IEW 2023 is also part of the G20 calendar of events under India's Presidency. This event is anticipated to attract more than 30,000 attendees, and more than 1,000 exhibitors with 15 International Exhibiting Country Pavilions in addition to delegates, subject matter experts, and dignitaries from governments and industries. This event shall be setting the narrative through several experts-led deliberations for a smooth energy transition for India vis-à-vis the global scenario in the years to come. I look forward to interacting with industry leaders and technologists in areas like CCUS, Waste-to-Energy, niche chemicals, Crude-Oil-to-Chemicals (COTC), evolving green hydrogen (GH2) production technologies, etc. We are keen to offer EIL's engineering and innovative technology services in these emerging areas to buttress the efforts led by the industries toward the stated net-zero objectives of the country.

Q. What does your company plan to showcase?

A. EIL is planning to showcase its engineering and technological prowess attained in its journey of more than five-and-a-half decades, serving clientele from various sectors in the areas of oil and gas, fertilizers, energy-efficient infrastructure, digitalisation and automation, Renewable Energy, etc. The company will showcase its collaborative technologies with both Indian and international institutions in new and emerging areas. Through its diversified operations, indigenous technology development and supply of proprietary engineered products, EIL will showcase its contribution to making India Atmanirbhar primarily in the energy sector by building a strong and potent manufacturing sector for the nation. EIL is also planning to showcase its efforts in decarbonising its operations and technical solutions developed by it for the assessment of the carbon footprint of the industry to assist global energy companies in achieving their energy transition objectives.

Q. What do you think should be India's trajectory for energy transition?

A. India ranks third after the USA and China in terms of primary energy consumption with a global share of around 6 percent, of which the contribution of coal in the energy basket is the highest, with crude oil taking the second place. With an 18 percent share of the world's population, India's per capita energy consumption equals 0.6 tonnes of oil equivalent (toe) as compared to the global per capita average of 1.8 toe. Given the anticipated growth of the Indian economy (to 5 trillion dollars by 2025 and 10 trillion dollars by 2030), India's energy demand is set to double in the next two decades. Besides, India is poised to set up renewable power infrastructure on a significantly large scale to meet the twin objectives of meeting its burgeoning energy demand as well as achieving its Intended Nationally Determined (INDC) targets.

In India's energy transition pathway, diminishing demand for transportation fuel such as diesel is projected with the penetration of Electric Vehicles in the market. The production and utilisation of Bioethanol for blending in Gasoline is another important area in India's energy transition. The Ethanol Blending Program (EBP) has already been rolled out by the government with an advanced target of 20 percent blending in gasoline by the year 2025. India has achieved the E10 target as announced by our PM on June 5, 2022. To ramp up bioethanol production, Indian OMCs have already planned to set up 2G Ethanol plants at various locations in India. One such Biorefinery facility is also being implemented by EIL for ABRPL in Assam (a JV of NRL, Fortum, and Chempolis OY, Finland). The project is being implemented by EIL based on the technology supplied by M/s Chempolis OY. Large-scale production of sustainable aviation fuel is key to decarbonising the aviation sector. EIL is also taking several efforts in the commercialisation of Bio-ATF production in India and developed a technology for the production of Bio-ATF in collaboration with CSIR-IIP, Dehradun.

Natural gas is one of the most important fuels in India's energy transition journey. The government is also targeting to increase the natural gas share in the primary energy basket to 15 percent by 2030 from its current share of around 6 percent. It has also been proposed that all smart cities be covered under the CGD network. Presently, ~38 out of 98 smart cities (announced) are covered or have an approved CGD network. The remaining will be considered for CGD network development in synchronisation with the development of the National Gas Grid. With its coal reserve of almost 300 billion tonnes, India uses about 80 percent of it for power generation. Presently, coal forms almost 55 percent of India's total energy mix. With rising environmental concerns, the Ministry of Coal is considering the diversification of coal for its sustainable use. Although coal gasification is a capital-intensive process, it can be a potential source of providing affordable Synthetic Natural Gas to CGD. In this regard, NITI Aayog has prepared a "National Coal Gasification Mission" to achieve a 100 MT capacity of Coal Gasification by 2030.

Digitalisation and automation are important segments of Energy Transition as it leads to optimisation of the performance of existing equipment resulting in a reduced operating cost for the plant operation. Many organisations, including EIL, are working on the IIoT-based technological solutions for the optimisation of existing infrastructure catering to reduced energy transition costs.

Development of technologies related to CCUS and Green hydrogen are two most important segments for the industry to fulfill their commitments of reduction in carbon emissions. Grey Hydrogen production with CO2 capture has the potential for achieving climate change mitigation targets till the technologies for Green Hydrogen mature. With its diverse experience and technical competence, EIL is assisting both public and private sectors in their transition to Green Hydrogen.

Finally, India's energy transition cannot be isolated from the rest of the world in light of the changing geopolitical scenarios and technologies running level of development in the emerging areas of the energy sector across the globe. The pace and the cost associated with energy transition for India may change as time progresses and geopolitical situations improve.

Q. This is the first event of this kind that is bringing together conventional and unconventional energy companies on the same platform. How do you think this event will help in building synergy between these two forms of energy?

A. In the decarbonisation regime, a paradigm shift in the focus of organisations across the globe has been observed. Business scenarios have started revolving around sustainability-linked deliverables. The energy industry is not an exception to this trend as the industry is already on board the energy transition plan. This event is anticipated to attract technologists and exhibitors from all corners of the world, providing a platform to them to brainstorm on the ideas presented there and create an ecosystem based on the specific needs of the companies through alliances among stakeholders. This platform is envisaged to provide opportunities to both types of energy companies to further improve their core strength apart from diversifying in new areas. I believe, climate change mitigation is the common ground for both conventional and non-conventional energy companies. This event is anticipated to give a platform for them to come together and take a giant leap in the uncharted territory of cost-effective low-carbon emission energy solutions through partnerships and EIL is eager to cement such opportunities at IEW-2023.

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