IOC mulls over 'Made in India' new age batteries: Sanjiv Singh

Mumbai: Like many companies in the energy sector, state-run Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is also trying to be future ready. In this quest, the company has tried not to shed away from the core idea to be self-reliant.

Now, the company is looking at setting up a manufacturing unit for batteries which will not be lithium based, said Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, IOC.

Speaking to reporters, after the annual general meeting, Singh, said, “We cannot announce it yet. But we are exploring manufacturing stage. We are in the advanced stage of assessing the energy storage vertical.”

Singh revealed that this could include not just developing new age batteries, but also improving the traditional battery. “We are looking at going beyond lithium (ion battery).”

Lithium production in India is almost negligible. So to meet India's target of achieving an all-electric car fleet by 2030, the dependency on the mineral could be large.

While a consortium has been formed by the Ministry of Mines, Government of India, for identifying, exploring, acquiring, developing and processing strategic minerals (which includes lithium) overseas, there is still a need to find alternatives to lithium.

Understanding this demand of the country, IOC is exploring local solution. Singh said, “We (India) don’t have a single grain of lithium. So, if you are looking at EVs in a very big way, we have to look for something which is indigenously available. We have already tied-up with one company. We are working on a solution which can be manufactured 100 per cent indigenously.”

Without disclosing any figures, Singh said the investment into the expansion of the battery segment is part of the Rs 2 lakh crore investments that are planned for the next five-seven years.

Singh also added that the company has invested significant amount on greener fuel. The company has plans to invest Rs 25,000 crore in green energy projects, including solar and wind power plants, bio-fuels plants, and solar panels at filling station.

Commenting about setting up charging stations, Singh said it is non-viable to set up charging points in the petrol pumps at small scale mainly due to space constraints.

BOX STORY

Low-sulphur bunker fuel to be available by October

Jescilia K/Mumbai: IOC feels it is ready in case of supplying reduced sulphur bunker fuel from October this year, said Sanjiv Singh, Chairman, IOC.

“We are ready with supplying lower sulphur bunker fuel.” Singh said, “ We will be able to supply one million tonnes of bunker fuel...” While a major chuck of the production of this fuel will take place at Gujarat refinery, Singh said, Haldia Refinery will also provide a small quantity. “We get a lot of demand from East and West coast. We will start feeding the fuel by October or so.”

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