India’s Greenko Group and Belgium’s John Cockerill plan to set up a US$500 million 2 gigawatt (GW) electrolyser factory in India, one of the world’s largest, through their joint venture.
This facility will be the world’ largest electrolyser giga factory outside China, and has the potential to help replace around 8% of India’s annual liquefied natural gas (LNG) imports. This assumes significance from the energy security perspective, given that India imports 85% of its oil and 55% of natural gas requirements. This also comes in the backdrop of global flash-points such as the ongoing Russia-Ukraine crisis that has added to the uncertainty in the international energy markets.
“The Gigafactory will include the full manufacturing electrolyser value chain including state of the art nickel coating and will produce electrolysers delivering H2 at 30 bars at the outlet at the highest purity level,” the firms said in a joint statement.
Greenko’s jv with John Cockerill for electrolysers is part of its green hydrogen and ammonia manufacturing plans. The Hyderabad-based group also plans to set up a 1 million-tonne/year ammonia manufacturing plant for exports.
“Greenko ZeroC (GZC), a subsidiary of Greenko Group, a leading Indian cleantech company, and John Cockerill, a world-leading designer and manufacturer of high-capacity alkaline electrolysers in Belgium, signed an exclusive Framework Agreement to jointly manufacture green hydrogen electrolysers in the Indian sub-continent,” the joint statement said.
Green hydrogen is produced by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using an electrolyser powered by renewable energy sources such as wind and solar.
India’s total hydrogen demand is expected to touch 11.7 million tonnes/year by 2029-30 from the current 6.7. Around 54% of India’s annual hydrogen consumption of 6.7 million tonnes/year is utilised in petroleum refining and the rest in fertiliser production. This is, however, ‘grey’ hydrogen produced from fossil fuels such as natural gas or naphtha.
“GZC and John Cockerill will combine their strengths to collaborate in all spheres of market evolution for green hydrogen electrolysers, which converts clean energy into carbon free hydrogen. The pressurised alkaline technology provided by John Cockerill and being the best adapted to the “large scale” hydrogen applications along with Greenko’s lowest cost RE-RTC (round the clock) solutions will enable the lowest Levelized Cost of Hydrogen (LCOH) necessary for the implementation of a large H2 ecosystem on the Indian subcontinent,” the statement said.
Backed by GIC Holdings Pte Ltd, Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Japan’s ORIX Corp., Greenko has India’s largest operational clean energy portfolio of 7.3 GW and is building 30 GWh of storage capacity as part of its plan to set up an energy storage cloud platform of 100 GWh.