Essar Group to invest Rs 30,000 crore in green hydrogen in Gujarat

The company aims to decarbonize long-haul heavy trucks by building a green steel mill in Saudi Arabia, decarbonizing its oil refinery in the UK, and developing an LNG and electric ecosystem.

As the quest for green hydrogen is gaining pace world over, the Indian multinational conglomerate Essar Group plans to invest Rs 30,000 crore over the next four years to establish a green hydrogen facility in Jamnagar, Gujarat, as part of its strategy to advance sustainable energy.

Prashant Ruia, Director of Essar Capital that manages the group’s investment portfolio, held that the company aims to decarbonize long-haul heavy trucks by building a green steel mill in Saudi Arabia, decarbonizing its oil refinery in the UK, and developing an LNG and electric ecosystem.

Moreover, Essar is exploring critical mineral mining, with applications in solar panels, electric vehicle batteries, and wind turbine magnets.

Over the next four years, Essar plans to develop 1 gigawatt (GW) of hydrogen capacity in Jamnagar, along with associated green molecules capacity of 1 million tonnes per annum. This will be achieved by using 4.5 GW of renewable energy supplied by its sister company, Essar Renewables, to break water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen. Hydrogen, the world’s cleanest energy source, can power industry, vehicles, buildings, and even heat homes and offices.

Since hydrogen burns to produce only water and is challenging to transport, it will be used to create green ammonia, which is easier to transport. Ruia explained, “The idea is to create green molecules that can be transported directly rather than green ammonia. Converting green ammonia back into hydrogen is costly. Therefore, we are developing a complex to produce green molecules from hydrogen, primarily for the biofuels sector, for export.”

Essar aims to expand its hydrogen capacity to about 10,000 MW over the next 3-5 years. To meet Gujarat’s base-load demands, Essar Power is increasing the capacity of its 1,200 MW Salaya-DevBhoomi Dwarka thermal power plant to 1,600 MW.

Also, to decarbonize large, long-distance vehicles and make transportation greener, Essar is creating an LNG and electric ecosystem. The company currently operates a fleet of 450-500 LNG-powered trucks for various logistics needs, addressing the significant carbon dioxide emissions from road transport, estimated at 110 tons annually.

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