GAIL eyes acquisitions to scale up renewable energy portfolio
The company also foraying into ethanol and hydrogen generation
New Delhi: India's top gas company GAIL will foray into hydrogen generation and take the acquisition route to scale up its renewable energy portfolio as it pivots business beyond natural gas to align with energy transition being witnessed across the globe.
As part of a push to embrace cleaner forms of energy, GAIL will be laying pipeline infrastructure to connect consumption centres to gas sources while also augmenting its renewable energy portfolio, GAIL Chairman and Managing Director Manoj Jain said. "The global energy sector is witnessing a paradigm shift in recent years as the world is transitioning to a sustainable energy future," he said in the company's latest annual report.
To accomplish a cleaner primary energy mix for India, the government is emphasizing the expansion of the natural gas sector so as to achieve a gas-based economy along with growth in renewables. GAIL as a leading integrated energy major has aligned with this vision, he said. The firm is laying around 6,000-kilometres of pipeline, including a west coast to east coast pipeline from Mumbai to Jharsuduga in Odisha via Nagpur, he said. It currently has around 13,700-km of natural gas pipeline network.
GAIL "will be selectively investing in the renewable energy domain given the future growth potential," he said. The company "has been scouting for opportunities to scale up the RE portfolio from the current 130 MW through bidding and other inorganic routes such as mergers and acquisitions." "In addition, the company is also foraying into ethanol and hydrogen generation," he said without giving details.
Hydrogen is a clean fuel that, when consumed in a fuel cell, produces only water. Many countries are venturing into hydrogen production from a variety of domestic resources, such as natural gas, nuclear power, biomass, and renewable power like solar and wind. In India, companies ranging from Reliance Industries to Indian Oil Corporation and NTPC have announced ambitious plans for generating hydrogen. GAIL too joins that list now.
GAIL, Jain said, has the largest and most diverse LNG portfolio in India that can offer both stable prices and reliable supply to consumers. The company "shall be pushing for higher gas usage in the industrial segment, transport segment using CNG and LNG, Trigeneration, cold storage, etc," he said,