Thursday, June 20, 2024

L&T eyes 30% share of electrolyzer mkt

Larsen and Toubro Ltd aims to capture 30% of India’s electrolyzer market once its technology partnership with McPhy Energy of France goes on stream, a top executive at the engineering conglomerate said.

The French electrolyzer technology and production company will grant an exclusive licence of its pressurized alkaline electrolyzer technology for manufacture and future product upgrades, L&T said on Wednesday.

“The cake is quite large for many players to be, you know, benefiting from it,” Subramanian Sarma, whole-time director & L&T, said in an interview.

“So, we will have to see how the market evolves. But I believe that if you have a good product, then we will have a decent market share. A good sort of target to achieve and a large market share could be anything between 25 and 30% to start with,” said Sarma, who is also the company’s senior executive vice president (energy).

Sarma added that eventually, L&T would own this technology from McPhy.

“We have not concluded it. But it will be in the next 8-10 years,” he said.

L&T on Wednesday said it plans to set up a gigawatt-scale manufacturing facility for electrolyzers at Hazira in Gujarat, based on McPhy technology, to serve the domestic and selected overseas markets.

“It is still a little bit early to give you a number (on investments)… We have a certain amount of outlay for green technology, and investments will be within that,” Sarma said.

In January, the Union government approved a National Green Hydrogen Mission. The country’s green hydrogen production capacity is estimated to touch at least 5 mmtpa by 2030, which would require investments above $100 billion.

In this context, local electrolyzer manufacturing presents a lucrative opportunity, given that such equipment is at the core of the value chain for green hydrogen, the clean fuel gaining rapid popularity worldwide.

Grey hydrogen is produced using conventional fuels, while green hydrogen is generated solely from renewable energy sources.

A recent EY report titled ‘Shortage of electrolyzers for green hydrogen’ highlighted the global increase in production capacity for green hydrogen in the last few months and projected green hydrogen demand to reach 63 million tonnes (mt) per year by 2030.

Sarma said green hydrogen demand would come from refineries, cement and steel plants, and heavy transportation may lead to the demand in the transport sector, possibly in 2 to 3 years.

The price of green hydrogen has come down from 5-6 times that of grey hydrogen to about 3.5 times, Sarma added.

“To reduce the cost, we need to produce much more efficiently and productively. So, there are several drivers identified, and I think some of them are within our control. Some of it will depend on the ecosystem and how it evolves. A combination of that would help us achieve cost reduction,” Sarma said.

He added that achieving parity in terms of cost with grey hydrogen would be a good situation to be in, and further reduction can follow from there.

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