Hydrocarbons are likely to remain the most important source of energy for decades to come in India, despite other forms of energy such as coal, renewable energy, etc. India is currently the fourth largest consumer of petroleum products in the world in spite of a very low per capita consumption, said Additional Secretary, Ministry of Petroluem & Natural Gas, Ajay Sawhney (IAS) while inaugurating the 20th Refinery Technology Meet at Gandhinagar, Gujarat.
Gandhinagar/India – Sawhney shared that under the visionary leadership of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India has emerged as a bright spot in the global economy in last two years. The country’s annual growth rate is hovering around 7.6 per cent, which is expected to rise even further. The government is committed towards achieving holistic, inclusive and sustainable high economic growth.
Sawhney also shared that one of the main commitments of the present government is to provide affordable and reliable energy to all segments of the economy and society, including the common man of India. For this, he said the country needed research and innovation to make clean energy technology available, accessible and affordable for all. A challenge before the oil industry of India is to reduce import dependence of oil and gas by 10 per cent by 2022 as part of the national developmental agenda.
Sawhney added that India has developed cost effective yet modern and complex refining capacity. The recently commissioned state-of-the-art refinery by Indian Oil at Paradip refinery showcases the indigenously developed INDMAX technology for maximising LPG and propylene. The Indian refining industry has a rich portfolio of technologies and can provide end-to-end solutions for most of the technologies for setting up a complex refinery on its own, but the opportunities are endless to innovate.
At the prestigious platform of top notch Indian and global technocrats of the global refining sector, the other distinguished speakers were IAS, Joint Secretary (Refineries), Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Sandeep Poundrik and Director (Refineries), Indian Oil Corporation Ltd, Sanjiv Singh.
Poundrik in his keynote address said that the Indian refining industry has undergone a paradigm shift from deficit to being a refining hub and exporter of quality products worldwide. In terms of complexity, Indian refineries stand next to the US. But the urgent emphasis is on development and realigning of technological options with the least carbon-footprints.
Poundrik added that the challenge is to steadily shift the hydrocarbon sector from fossil to non-fossil sources. It is important to strengthen India’s energy security with alternative fuels developed on indigenously produced renewable feedstocks to substitute and supplement petro-based fuels. All these factors throw up both challenges and opportunities for the Indian refining industry.
Director (Refineries), Indian Oil, Sanjiv Singh shed light on the Indian refining landscape. He said, “The Indian refining industry is the 4th largest in the world in terms of refining capacity., and is currently passing through a challenging phase with stringent environmental stipulations, need for huge investments for upgrading fuel quality in line with the international trend, increasing concern for energy security, etc. In order to meet these challenges, there is an urgent need to explore and adopt innovative solutions to create and add value from the existing assets, improve process and energy efficiency, yield optimization, process integration, etc.” He added that the country is working fervently towards leapfrogging directly from BS-IV to Euro-VI equivalent Bharat Stage-VI norms by April 1, 2020 across the country which is a courageous step and no where any nation has taken such a dynamic initiative to implement Euro VI is such a short span.