HPCL and University of Birmingham partner to launch revolutionary hydrogen transport project

29th February 2024: The University of Birmingham and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) have joined forces to develop and deliver a cutting-edge hydrogen dispensing system that could revolutionize India’s transport sector.

Mr. S. Bharathan, Director Refineries, HPCL and Professor Adam Tickell, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham have launched a partnership to create new research avenues at HPCL Green R&D Centre (HPGRDC) in Bangalore.

Following the launch on February 15, 2024 in Mumbai, Professor Adam Tickell commented: “The University of Birmingham is a global ‘civic’ university and we’re committed to forging meaningful research partnerships in India that demonstrate our commitment to the country as a strategic partner.

“Hydrogen is a key area of collaboration between the UK and India as identified in the 2030 India-UK Roadmap. India is on its course to achieve 500 GW renewable energy target before the 2030 deadline. This project could revolutionise the Indian hydrogen supply to the road, rail and marine logistics sector – creating a net positive impact on the country’s hydrogen market, enabling innovation.”

The partnership builds on the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research and Education’s (BCRRE) expertise that delivered the UK’s first hydrogen-powered train and the University of Birmingham’s long track record of commercialising research for day-to-day applications. Experts from the University and HPCL will work together to:

• Develop a comprehensive concept design for a state-of-the-art hydrogen fuel cell and dispensing system;

• Engage with local and global supply chain partners to ensure successful implementation of the system;

• Provide consulting support during the development and implementation phases of the refuelling system; and

• Monitor system data during deployment phases to determine the lifecycles of various components.

· Develop local supply chains for making the dispensing stations in India.

Mr. S Bharathan, Director-Refineries HPCL briefed the role played by HPCL in meeting the country’s fuel demand. He highlighted the developments in Visakh Refinery revamp and upcoming Rajasthan Refinery and other areas He highlighted the progress made by HPCL Green R&D’s support to HPCL’s energy transition through innovation, research, indeginisation, cost optimisation and revenue generation improving the self reliance. He expressed the confidence that combined efforts of Bermingham University and HPGRDC will accelerate the research in the area of Hydrogen dispensing stations.

He also stated that HPCL has set for itself a goal of achieving Net Zero Scope 1 and 2 emissions by the year 2040 with an overall reduction in carbon intensity. Towards this objective , HPCL refineries stand steadfast in playing their major role in in achieving the Net Zero through incremental as well as step changes,. The refineries have made substantial head ways and are exploring further avenues for reducing their GHG emissions. A key step in this direction is installation of green hydrogen plant with a capacity of 370 tpa (tonnes per annum) at Visakhapatnam Refinery.

Moving Beyond refineries on the hydrogen economy, HPCL targets to implement various solutions to its customers and to embark on this journey , hydrogen transport projects have been identified for collaboration with UoB, having expertise in this domain. “

He expressed the confidence that combined efforts of Birmingham University and HPGRDC will accelerate the development of economically viable Hydrogen dispensing stations.

A member of the prestigious Russell Group of UK universities, Birmingham is ranked among the top 100 universities in the world and currently the third most popular university targeted by UK employers, according to High Fliers Research – testament to the University’s strong links with industry. In November 2023, the University was awarded the prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize, regarded as the highest national honour awarded in the UK for higher education, for its partnership with a leading industrial organisation. This was the fourth time the University was awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, which celebrates excellence, innovation and recognise work that delivers benefit to the wider world and public.

HPCL is a Maharatna CPSE and a Forbes 2000 company under Ministry of Petroluem and Natural Gas, Government of India. It is listed on the Bombay Stock exchange (BSE) and National Stock Exchange (NSE), India. (https://www.hindustanpetroleum.com).

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