EPC World, October 2023
India has set an ambitious target of achieving 500 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2030, as part of its commitment to combat climate change and transition to a lowcarbon economy. However, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are intermittent and variable, posing challenges for grid stability and reliability. Moreover, some sectors such as transport, industry and heating are difficult to electrify directly and require alternative fuels that can provide high energy density and low emissions.
Hydrogen, the most abundant element in the universe, has the potential to address these challenges and complement India’s renewable energy mission. Hydrogen can be produced from water using electricity generated by renewable sources, resulting in zero-carbon emissions. This process is known as green hydrogen production. Hydrogen can also be stored and transported over long distances, enabling inter-regional and international trade of clean energy. Hydrogen can be used as a fuel for various applications such as fuel cells for vehicles, power generation, industrial processes, heating and cooking. The Government of India has already launched the National Hydrogen Energy Mission (NHEM), which aims to make India a leading producer and supplier of green hydrogen in the world. The NHEM will also create export opportunities for green hydrogen and its derivatives, reduce dependence on imported fossil fuels and feedstock, develop indigenous manufacturing capabilities, attract investment and business opportunities for the industry, create employment and economic development, and support R&D projects.
The success of the NHEM will depend on the active participation and collaboration of various stakeholders such as government agencies, industry players, research institutions, civil society organizations, and consumers. One of the key players in this mission is Nuberg EPC, a global engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) company that specializes in chemical plants. Nuberg EPC has extensive experience and expertise in delivering turnkey solutions for diverse types of projects such as chlor-alkali plants, hydrogen peroxide plants, sulfuric acid plants, calcium chloride plants, nuclear and defense plants, hydrocarbon plants, steel plants, etc.
Nuberg EPC has been involved in several projects related to hydrogen production and utilization in India and abroad. It has adopted innovative technologies and practices to reduce costs, improve efficiency and quality, enhance safety and sustainability, and meet the evolving needs and expectations of the clients. Nuberg has also commercialized India’s first hydrogen plant with the Indian Oil Corporation’s (IOCL) Gujarat Refinery in Vadodara.
Some of the key trends and opportunities for the EPC industry in the hydrogen sector are:
- Offshore wind - Offshore wind is a promising source of renewable energy that can be used to produce green hydrogen at a large scale. Offshore wind has the advantage of higher capacity factor, lower land requirement, and proximity to coastal areas where demand for hydrogen is high. The EPC industry can leverage its experience in offshore oil and gas projects to deliver offshore wind projects that are integrated with green hydrogen production facilities.
- Modularization - Modularization is a technique of prefabricating components or units of a project at a remote location and assembling them at the site. Modularization can reduce construction time, cost, risk, waste, and environmental impact. The EPC industry can adopt modularization for green hydrogen projects that require standardized and repeatable designs, such as electrolyzers, pipelines, storage tanks and fueling stations.
- Digitalization - Digitalization is the use of digital technologies to transform business processes and operations. Digitalization can enhance productivity, quality, safety, transparency, and collaboration in the EPC industry. The EPC industry can use digital tools such as cloud computing, big data analytics, artificial intelligence, blockchain, internet of things (IoT), drones, robots and 3D printing to optimize design, procurement, construction, and commissioning of green hydrogen projects.
- Sustainability - Sustainability is the ability to meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Sustainability is becoming a key driver for the EPC industry as clients demand more environmentally friendly and socially responsible solutions. The EPC industry can incorporate sustainability principles into its green hydrogen projects by using renewable energy sources, minimizing carbon footprint, reducing water consumption, enhancing local community engagement, ensuring health and safety standards, and complying with ethical practices.
Nuberg EPC is committed to supporting the NGHM by providing cost-effective, efficient, and sustainable solutions for green hydrogen production and utilization. Nuberg EPC believes that Hydrogen is a key enabler for India’s renewable energy mission as it can provide clean, reliable, and versatile energy solutions for various sectors. The EPC industry can capitalize on this opportunity by offering end-to-end solutions for green hydrogen projects that are cost-effective, efficient, and sustainable. The EPC industry can also contribute to India’s vision of becoming an energy independent and net zero emission country by 2047.
© This article was first published in EPC World, October 2023.