Millennium Post

Of environment and sustainability

Of environment and sustainability
Energy conservation projects at refineries:

The performance of refineries is extensively monitored and benchmarked against global best practices in energy management, to incorporate the latest technological developments. The various energy conservation schemes implemented during the year 2014-2015 resulted in an estimated fuel savings of 1,07,000 metric tonnes of Standard Refinery Fuel (SRF), valued at about Rs 4 billion. As a result of various energy conservation measures, the energy performance parameter in terms of MBN (Thousand British Thermal Units/ Barrel /Energy Factor) reduced from 62 in 2009-2010 to 54.5 in 
2014-2015, the best ever achieved.

Pipelines network for fuel transport:

The pipeline transport of crude and product results in more than 50 per cent reduction in carbon emissions over rail transport. Indian Oil’s ever expanding cross-country pipeline spans 11,221 km as on 31 August, 2015.

Wind-power projects:

At present, Indian Oil has two wind-power projects, one of 21 MW capacity at Kutch, Gujarat, commissioned in 2009 and the other of 48.3 MW at Vajrakarur & Gandikota in Andhra Pradesh, commissioned during 2012-2014. As of 31 August, 2015, the cumulative generation has crossed 569 GWh, which corresponds to emission reduction to the extent of 455 TMTCO2e (thousand metric tonnes carbondioxide equivalent)

Grid-connected solar power projects:

A grid connected solar PV project of 5 MW was commissioned at Rawra, Rajasthan in 2012. As of 31 August, 2015, the cumulative generation from the project has crossed 27 GWh of renewable electricity, resulting in carbon emission reduction of 22 TMTCO2e. Further, a 4-MW solar PV plant is also under commissioning at Narimanam, Tamil Nadu which will supply green power to 12 captive locations in the state.

Off-grid solar projects:

Solar PV power generation systems are installed at office buildings and installations to reduce power consumption from the grid power and to reduce diesel consumption in DG sets and resultant carbon emissions. As on 31 August, 2015, 1.3 MW of solar PV systems have been installed across various refineries, installations and office buildings with a total annual generation capacity of 1.6 GWh and annual carbon emission reduction potential of 1.3 TMTCO2e. 

Fuel station solarisation:

With a view to reduce diesel use in DG sets at regular fuel stations and Kisan Seva Kendra (rural outlets) and reduce carbon emissions, solar PV power generation systems are being installed since 2011. As on 31 August, 2015, 3,298 regular fuel stations and Kisan Seva Kendra have been solarised, with a cumulative installed capacity of about 12 MW. These systems have an annual generation capacity of 14 GWh, with resultant carbon emission reduction potential of about 12 TMTCO2e. 

Solar lanterns:

To increase the penetration of solar systems and to provide solarbased solutions to shortage of power supply in small towns, semi-urban and rural areas, Indian Oil has been promoting the sale of solar lanterns through its retail network. As on 31 August, 2015, more than two lakh solar lanterns has been sold through various marketing channels. 

Bio-diversity and tree plantation:

Development of green belts/ecological parks has been a significant feature of Indian Oil’s operations. All Indian Oil refineries have developed green cover around their operations. As on 31 August, 2015, these green belts/ecological parks cover an area of about 800 acres, with a total tree lantation of over 20 lakh. These trees have an annual carbon sequestration potential of 40 TMTCO2e.

Scientific planning and development of green belts in and around refineries is conducted with guidance from eminent botanists. In addition to the green belts, all refineries have an eco-park in their premises. Surveys have shown that about 300 species of resident and migratory birds thrive in these eco-parks, while over 285 speciesof native and exotic plants and trees grow there.

Energy audits:

Energy audits of our buildings and installations are conducted to achieve energy conservation/efficiency in energy usage by implementing the recommended modification/ update for optimum energy utilisation.

Energy-efficient lighting:

Lighting constitutes up to 75 per cent of the total load at installations/buildings. By use of LED lighting systems, energy savings of 40-50 per cent on lighting bills can be made. The use of LED lamps for lighting purpose give multiple benefits like better lighting quality, reduction in energy bills, reduction in maintenance costs and, most importantly, reduction in carbon emission. During 2014-2015, about ten thousand conventional lighting fixtures were replaced by LED fixtures. A comprehensive policy on implementation of energy-efficient LED lighting across all refineries, office buildings, townships, installations and retail outlets by 2017 has been formulated. 

Green buildings:

Environmentally responsible and resource-efficient green features like daylight penetration, light sensors, thermal efficiency of building envelope, energy-efficient appliances, solar energy, recycling of waste and water, rainwater harvesting, etc., are being implemented in new buildings. The administrative buildings of Panipat Naphtha Cracker and Indore Divisional Office were certified as Green buildings by LEED and GRIHA, respectively.

Rain-water harvesting:

To reduce the water footprint and increase ground-water availability, rain-water harvesting systems are being installed across the Corporation. As on 31 August, 2015, 440 rainwater harvesting systems have been installed at various refineries, office buildings and installations with an annual harvesting capacity of about 2,700 tkl (thousand kilolitres) covering a combined catchment area of 950 hectares. 

Organic waste converters & bio-methanisation plants:

For organic waste, like kitchen and horticulture waste, organic waste converters/ bio-methanisation plants are being provided at installations to convert waste to manure and methane. The methane is used in the kitchens as fuel and the manure/slurry used for gardening and green belts. As on 
31 August, 2015, 16 such systems have been installed at various locations across the country. 

Bio-remediation of sludge:

Oily sludge generated from refineries and installations is being treated through bio-remediation by a bacteria developed by the R&D Centre in collaboration with TERI.

Effluent treatment:

All refineries have been provided with full-fledged effluent treatment plants consisting of physical, chemical, biological and tertiary treatment facilities. During 2014-2015, 83 per cent of the effluent water was treated and re-used.


Blending of ethanol with petrol reduces carbon monoxide levels and carbon emissions and also brings down petroleum import bill. Ethanol has a emission factor of 1.88 kgCO2e/ kg compared to 3.09 kgCO2e/kg for petrol. During 2014-2015, 187 tkl of ethanol was procured by Indian Oil for blending, which is about 1.7 per cent of the total MS sales.

Bio-fuel plantations:

Plantation of Jatropha was completed in about 8,000 Ha in the States of Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. Two joint ventures were formed for the purpose, namely, Indian Oil-CREDA Bio-fuels Ltd. in Chattisgarh and Indian Oil Ruchi Bio-fuels LLP in Uttar Pradesh. However, due to high maintenance cost and low seed yield from Jatropha, bio-fuel production was non-starter.

Natural Gas:
To reduce the carbon footprint of liquid petroleum products, Indian Oil is expanding its natural gas (LNG/RLNG/CNG) business. During 2014-2015, the Corporation registered sale of 1.81 million tonnes of natural gas.

Goals and Objectives

National import reduction targets:

In response to the call in Urja Sangam-2015 for 10 per cent reduction in energy imports, Indian Oil has planned to further improve its operational efficiency and energy conservation performance, besides generation of renewable energy to bridge the gap. In alignment with the national goals, including the National Action plan on Climate Change, the following plans are being adopted:

Plan for Alternative Energy:

Over the next five years, i.e., from 2015-2016 to 2019-2020, Indian Oil envisages to set up 260 MW of renewable energy (wind and solar) in a phased manner. 

Sustainable Development Plan:

Indian Oil has completed carbon and water footprinting of all its installations and office buildings. Based on the same, a long-term plan on reduction of carbon and water footprint of the Corporation has been prepared. The plan envisages a reduction target of specific carbon footprint by 18 per cent and specific water footprint reduction target by 20 per cent up to 2019-2020, with 2012-2013 as the base year. Various measures such as energy conservation, energy efficiency, renewable energy and tree plantations, have been proposed to reduce the carbon footprint. To reduce water footprint, measures such as process water efficiency, rainwater harvesting, etc., have been proposed. 
Activities proposed for the future

Ligno-cellulosic ethanol:

There is a great need of alternative fuels driven by fluctuating crude prices, energy security, and environmental benefits. The National Policy of Bio-fuels in 2009, had proposed an indicative target of 20 per cent blending of Biofuels by 2017. To avoid the food vs fuel issues, bio-ethanol can be produced from ligno-cellulose obtained from non-food crops such as surplus agri-residue, wood, organic waste etc, thereby eliminating requirement of food crop diversion. It has also been observed that Cellulosic ethanol reduces carbon emissions by 85 per cent to 94 per cent compared to petroleumbased fuels. Indian Oil is actively considering to enter into ligno-cellulosic ethanol production.

Lithium-ion batteries:

The lithium ion battery is a type of rechargeable battery which uses lithium iron phosphate (LiFePO4) as a cathode material. The batteries offer longer lifetimes, better power density (the rate that energy can be drawn from them), have much better temperature tolerance and are inherently safer. With use of cheaper and widely available Iron-Phosphate combination in cathode makes it cheaper in production. It has been finding wide applications in transport and backup power. Lithium ion batteries are being used in consumer electronics and automobile industry, particularly in electric vehicles.
Government of India had launched the New Electric Mobility Mission Plan 2020, which projected 6-7 million electric vehicles running on Indian roads by 2020. Smart city projects and Green Energy Corridor for power generation from renewable sources would add to the overall installed capacity, thereby increasing the demand for energy storage batteries.

Fuel Cells:

A fuel cell is a device that converts the chemical energy of a fuel (usually hydrogen) and an oxidant (air or oxygen) into electricity. Basic fuel cells running on pure hydrogen are pollution free, giving off only electricity, water, and heat. Because there is no combustion in a fuel cell, fuel is converted to electricity more efficiently than any other electrical generating technology available today. 

Economically, fuel cells represent a prudent path to provide the country’s electric power because they can be installed quickly and are fuel flexible. Possibilities are being explored for production and distribution of hydrogen through retail networks to cater to fuel cell market, production of fuel cells in partnership with a fuel cell producer or fuel cell based quick charging stations.

R&D Activities:

Indian Oil’s R&D Centre at Faridabad is working on many innovative low carbon technologies. A single step process has been developed and patented to convert CO to dialkyl- 2 carbonates using novel catalyst for application as fuel additives as well as solvent in paint industry.
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