The chairman of the board of directors of the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), the country’s largest oil company, has said that it will invest Rs 2 crore to achieve net zero operating carbon emissions by 2046.
The target group is aligned with India’s goal of reaching net zero emissions by 2070.
The IOC, which refines crude oil into fuels and manufactures petrochemicals, will use a combination of energy efficiency, process electrification and fuel substitution measures.
“The company is embarking on a decarbonization journey that will be important not only to the fate of the company but also to the planet,” said Vidya. “In the 99th year of India’s independence (2046), Indian oil will be operationally independent of emissions.”
An investment of over Rs 2 crore will help mitigate emissions to around 0.7 billion metric tons of CO2 per year by then.
Currently, IOC’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, mainly from the company’s refining operations, are 21.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2e) annually. This will rise to 40.44 million metric tons of CO2 by 2030 after considering planned expansions and taking into account the emissions of its subsidiaries.
“We have a well-prepared scheme in place (for net zero). It adopts a multi-pronged approach to gradually take us towards the net zero destination. We envisioned that an investment of over INR 2 million would be required to achieve the target by 2046.”
The company plans to use natural gas in the refineries instead of liquid fuels as well as replace the gray hydrogen with green hydrogen made from renewable energy.
Vaidya said the IOC is also considering carbon offset through ecosystem restoration, Carbon Use and Storage (CCUS), among other things.
“The IOC plans to achieve two-thirds of the emissions reduction through energy efficiency, electricity and fuel substitution efforts, while one-third of total emissions will be mitigated through options such as CCUS, nature-based solutions and the purchase of carbon credits,” he said.
Of its current emissions, 96 percent is due to processes such as direct combustion of fuels to derive energy from heat, steam, electricity and cooling, which are part of the operations.
These constitute Scope-1 emissions. The remaining 4 percent is at the expense of getting electricity from the grid, which constitutes second-scale emissions.
Vaidya said the IOC has prepared a roadmap to achieve net zero emissions for Scope 1 and 2 – that is, emissions from crude oil refining and energy consumption.
To cut emissions, the company will use renewable energy to expand its production capacity and is setting up green hydrogen plants at the Panipat and Mathura refineries.
It plans for green hydrogen to make up 25 percent of its total hydrogen production in 5-10 years and 100 percent by 2040.
Vidya also said the IOC would have electric vehicle charging facilities at 10,000 gas stations within two years.