Global Refining Petrochemicals Congress from its very inception has carved a niche for itself as a vital platform for global downstream industry professionals, facilitating debate and discussions, and supporting progress through industry transitions. I congratulate the organisers for the upcoming 7th GRPC.
I also take this opportunity to appreciate Government of India for the progressive, conducive and stable policy environment towards achieving our target of Net Zero by 2070 by the introduction of various measures such as Green Energy Corridor, National Smart Grid Mission and Smart Meter National Programme, National Solar Mission, Perform, Achieve and Trade, Ethanol Blending 20% by 2025 etc.
With India’s steady progress to maintain a steady trajectory of over 6 percent GDP growth through the current decade, her energy demand is projected to grow faster than that of all major economies globally. Similarly, on polyolefin product life cycle chart, India’s rising per capita GDP is slated to lead to relatively higher per capita demand growth.
To meet these requirements, India needs to boost her downstream infrastructure with the addition of 200 MT Refining Capacity and at least one MMTPA Steam Cracker each year up-to 2030.
Since centuries, fossil fuels have fuelled the industrial revolution, as also economic and social development across the globe. Through this period, great technological innovations supported many energy transitions. Starting with coal in the mid-19th century, oil in the mid-20th century, civilian nuclear in the 1970s - each bringing about major changes in the energy-mix. These various resources did not supplant one another, but indeed were complementary towards creating an energy ecosystem that has led to progress and advancement for man-kind.
While there is global consensus on energy transition and increased emphasis on decarbonisation of the industry, the nation’s baseload energy requirements will be met through fossil fuels and as such the demand is slated to grow steadily. A cohesive energy transition plan, addressing key considerations such as energy security, technology advancement and ubiquitous knowledge flow, economic divide, availability of funding lines, and on-ground execution, to address the transition has become increasingly evident.
The downstream industry is well poised to be an active participant in this journey with a slew of initiatives already under implementation, such as policy impetus to green hydrogen, extending the very successful ethanol blending program, improvement in Energy Intensity Ratio, fuel switching to bio-mass, collaboration with automobiles industry for improved vehicle efficiency, and mainstreaming of EVs, Hybrid EVs and FCVs etc.
I am confident that during the GRPC 2023, with our excellent line-up of speakers, we will be able to deliberate on many of the emerging topics and continue as an active and indispensable part of India’s growth story, while ensuring a more inclusive and sustainable future.
My best regards,Prasad K Panicker
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