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Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala

Zainab Calcuttawala is an American journalist based in Morocco. She completed her undergraduate coursework at the University of Texas at Austin (Hook’em) and reports on…

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India’s Largest Refiner Looks To Ditch Oil In Favor Of Renewables

Indian Oil, its namesake country’s largest refiner, is preparing to diversify into green energy as New Delhi expands its plans to abandon fossil fuels in the coming years, according to emerging reports.

Existing refinery expansion plans will remain flexible to allow for cancellations, provided oil demand falls faster than anticipated, chairman Sanjiv Singh said in an interview this week.

Renewable energies are taking up larger share of the country’s energy mix, but the refining company plans on being relevant even after the end of oil.

“A lot of research going on in alternate fuels and alternate modes of transportation are funded by companies in the oil and gas business. It is a process in which all of us are involved,” said Singh. “Today, we talk about a demand estimate of about 450 million tonnes of refinery products by 2040. Probably as the time goes by, we will have to see whether all these predictions, which are based on several assumptions and parameters, are on the same predicted levels or need some correction. Accordingly, the (planned) refining capacity will also be adjusted if need be,” said Singh.

Singh’s counterparts in other Indian energy companies have similar views on the evolving nature of refiners’ core competency. Indian Oil’s other focus has been on increasing the market penetration of CNG-fueled personal and commercial vehicles, as well as building electric charging stations along major highways.

 “Companies need to have a strategy in place to mitigate risk (from the changing energy mix). Opening charging stations will help in this regard. However, electric mobility may gain currency only over several years due to its present constraints about availability of charging points, cost of battery and the range of distance that can be covered per charging,” said K. Ravichandran, senior vice-president, group head-corporate ratings, Icra Ltd.

By Zainab Calcuttawala for Oilprice.com

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  • Raj on December 07 2017 said:
    No one talks of most critical constraint of an EV car - Battery charging time Who wants to wait for 1+ hr to charge? Also, what happens to range when you are stuck in traffic in most large Indian cities?

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