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IOC plans aluminium-air batteries factory

FE Bureau

Having acquired stake in Phinergy, an Israeli battery developer of ultra-lightweight metal-air batteries that can be used in electric vehicles (EV), Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) is in talks with a few governments for setting up a factory for aluminium-air batteries. While the investment details are still being worked out, the proposed factory is likely to be set up in Chennai because of the existing automotive ecosystem and commissioned by year end.

"We are looking to set up a factory in India to manufacture aluminium-air batteries for electric vehicles and stationary applications and facilitate development of eco-system for aluminium-air technology-based batteries. Since aluminium is naturally available in India and its extraction and recycling technologies are also very well established, this technology may be a suitable alternative for the present lithium-based batteries," said R Sravan S Rao, executive director & state head, Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. While, the location of the proposed factory is yet to be decided, sources in the know said it could be located in Chennai.

On the ongoing Paradip-Hyderabad pipeline project, which is being executed with an investment of over Rs 3,800 crore, he said that the project is expected to be completed shortly and would terminate in the new petroleum terminal coming up at Malkapur in Nalgonda district of Telangana with a storage capacity of 180,000 KL at an investment of Rs 611 crore. To meet the increasing LPG demand, an additional LPG tankage of 2400 MT in mounded storage is being envisaged at Cherlapally LPG plant at a cost of Rs 36 crore.

Meanwhile, Indian Oil is setting up a 100 KLPD (kilo litres per day) ligno-cellulosic 2G ethanol plant at Baholi in Panipat district of Haryana using indigenous technology patented by Indian Oil's R&D centre. This project built at a cost of Rs 766 crore would promote use of environment-friendly fuel. It is also into production of 3G ethanol by conversion of hydrogen off-gas produced at its refineries to ethanol, using gas fermentation technology. The plant for 3G ethanol with an estimated investment of `598 crore is being constructed at the Panipat refinery. The third-generation bio-fuels are algal-based, which would be produced by growing oil (lipid) bearing algae (a type of plant variety) by utilising various waste/industrial flue gases from refineries. Blending of ethanol with MS would benefit through reduction in harmful emissions.

On the transition from BS-IV fuels to BS-VI, he said it would be smooth and already most of the retail outlets of IOC are dispensing BS-VI fuels. India's oil marketing companies have so far invested about Rs 28,000 crore for upgrading refining capacities and IOC has invested about Rs 17,000 crore.