Could India drive the global hydrogen industry?

In 2023 the Indian Prime Minister, Mr Narendra Modi, expressed his determination towards making India one of the largest world economies with a focus on renewable energy, biofuels and hydrogen. With his cabinet having approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission, Mr Modi has since gone on to strike new agreements on green hydrogen with his Australian counterpart. Business leaders in India are clearly receptive to Mr Modi’s vision, as we quickly discovered when interviewing Mr Chitranjan Jain, the Managing Director of Mack Valves India.

By Lucija Kozina, Valve World

Mr Jain was part of a business delegation organized by the Indo-German Chamber of Commerce. The packed trip took in other destinations such as Brussels, a key European hub for decision-making. There, Mr Jain had the opportunity to meet Mr Ruud Kempener (Member of Cabinet of Commissioner for Energy) as well as Mr Jorgo Chatzimarkakis (the CEO of Hydrogen Europe).

These meetings furnished a good overview of developments in Europe and also helped to pinpoint opportunities for Mack Valves India. “This was most interesting. Europe in general has huge potential for hydrogen with Germany spearheading this process. As per my visit they already had 92 hydrogen fueling stations up and running with an additional 18 expected to come on-line this year. European governments are quite aggressive in achieving their carbon neutrality, having made commitments to reach net-zero targets by 2050.” The itinerary also included a visit to a hydrogen fueling station as well as a hydrogen testing facility in Essen. “We were therefore able to see at first hand the facilities in place for the production, storage and distribution of hydrogen,” comments Mr Jain.

Transmission of knowledge

Commenting on the main purpose of this visit, Mr Jain said: “Aside from trying to understand what is happening in Europe as regards hydrogen, we were keen to discover which opportunities might be available to us, meaning Mack Valves but also HEROSE (see box). Also important was to understand current and future requirements for hydrogen to ensure our products are fully aligned with market expectations. To sum up, I was impressed with developments taking place in Europe and with the speed at which all the work is being done. It was very instructive to see how we can better serve this particular industry.”

Looking back on a successful trip, Mr Jain says there are certainly growth opportunities for Indian valve manufacturers. “There are several companies in Europe that are already present in this market but to my knowledge there is no comparable valve company in India when it comes to manufacturing valves for hydrogen. Fabricators of large hydrogen tanks for example are importing all the required valves from Europe. It is up to us to understand the necessary specifications and deploy appropriate technologies.”

Open to collaboration

Green hydrogen is becoming the next big thing. For this reason, there is significant demand for all the components required to assemble electrolyzers. Many European companies are therefore looking to India as a reliable supply chain partner, with plans to set up factories locally or collaborate with suitable third parties. The situation is similar with renewable energy in general, such as wind and solar energy. Mr Jain believes there are plenty of opportunities for cooperation with India, a country well-known for international trade.

Deploying green hydrogen in road mobility is just one of the many areas covered by PM Mr Modi’s Green Hydrogen Mission
Deploying green hydrogen in road mobility is just one of the many areas covered by PM Mr Modi’s Green Hydrogen Mission

“We are already collaborating with Seitz, a Swiss company which we represent in India. They have high-pressure valves for hydrogen dispensers which can work up to 500 bar and 1000 bar. This is a reliable product using proven technology. Apart from that, HEROSE has developed a range of valves for hydrogen transportation which was recently launched. Whilst we at Mack Valves have not yet been selling our own valves for use with hydrogen, our portfolio covers a multitude of other gases. This gives us an excellent platform which can be modified where necessary to serve the emerging hydrogen market in India.”

Mr Jain concludes by saying that whilst India may not yet be a ‘hydrogen hub’, that position could change within a few short years. “India has tremendous potential, both as a source for components like valves but also as a producer of green hydrogen. After all, we have so much sunlight. That is an ideal energy source that can be harnessed to power electrolyzer plants yet remains largely untapped. Take my word for it, Indian businessmen are astute. Once they see value in making an investment they won’t hesitate to do so. When the real demand for setting up hydrogen infrastructure takes off, Mack Valves will be ready to serve Indian customers.”

Green Hydrogen Mission

India’s Green Hydrogen Mission is understood to have the following aims:

  • Produce at least 5 MMT of green hydrogen per annum by 2030
  • Potentially reach 10MMT per annum with the growth of export markets
  • Make India a leader in the technology and manufacturing of electrolyzers and other enabling technologies
  • Reduce end to end green hydrogen costs to USD 2 per kg by 2030
  • Achieve significant decarbonization of the economy
  • Reduce dependence on fossil fuel imports
  • Enable India to assume technology and market leadership in green steel
Pilot projects include:

Green Hydrogen Projects

Many projects have been announced across the entire green hydrogen value chain, including:

  • Greenko to export 250,000 TPA of green ammonia to Uniper
  • Avaada Group has secured USD 1 billion in funding from Brookfield for green hydrogen
  • Reliance and Ashok Leyland targeting a truck powered by hydrogen
  • Gujarat Gas and NTPC have commissioned a green hydrogen blending project
  • Tata Steel has commenced experiments using hydrogen in the blast furnace

About Mack Valves, Ador and HEROSE

Mack Valves, a part of a joint venture between Ador Group and HEROSE GmbH since 2017, is a well-known name in the valve industry. In addition to their Australian facilities the company owns a purpose-built manufacturing unit in India that serves the cryogenic industry. Located in Pune, this state-of-the-art clean room facility is mainly focused on manufacturing valves for storage and transportation of liquified gases.

Mack Valves India´s Managing Director, Mr Chitranjan Jain proudly describes their products: “When it comes to transportation and storage of any kind of liquid gases, be it oxygen, argon, nitrogen or natural gas, our valves are suitable for usage. They are designed to perform right down to -196 °C. In our Indian facility, we manufacture globe valves, check valves, thermal relief valves and Liquid Cylinder Valves. Mack India factory is also producing ball valves (under HEROSE Brand) up to 100 mm. We also manufacture safety relief valves. We are approved by the Petroleum and Explosive Safety Organization (PESO).”

Meet Mr Chitranjan Jain

Mr Jain recently completed five years as Managing Director of Mack Valves India. With prior experiences in top positions at Ador including Company Secretary, Chief Financial Officer, Head of Procurement, etc., some of his career highlights include helping establish a company in China as well as participating in joint ventures with European countries.

Mr Jain describes the gas industry as very welcoming and a great place to learn. “Clients all have a positive focus so meaningful relationships are almost a matter of course.” In his free time, Mr Jain prefers relaxing and spending time with his family. He is a big fan of Bollywood and sports, especially cricket. Whenever he has the time, he enjoys cycling and taking regular walks.

About this Featured Story

This Featured Story is an article from our Valve World Magazine, November 2023 issue. To read other featured stories and many more articles, subscribe to our print magazine. Available in both print and digital formats. DIGITAL MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTIONS ARE NOW FREE.

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