India – Industrial growth through cogeneration

An Indian woman in an industrial facility The surge in investor’s confidence since the Modi-led government took centre stage shows optimism of the new government towards trade and aspiration to improve the macro indicators. Largely attributed to Modi’s ‘Make in India’ campaign, the initiative is of due importance to increase India’s economic growth.

But, can an efficient scale of production be met and be sustainable? Can the slogan ‘zero defect and zero effect’ be conjointly accomplished by the government and industries? Indeed the notions are vibrant and surely the motives can be met at a brisker pace than before.

One such contributor to achieve industrial growth is the use of a high efficient cogeneration systems using a natural gas engines. Many industrialised nations have been using natural gas to increase their industrial productivity. In the Asian context, Russia, Japan, Indonesia and Bangladesh etc have a decent share of natural gas in their energy mix. Across many of the African countries as well road map for using natural gas for power generation is well being implemented.

In India industrial clusters in the regions of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh majorly, have been using natural gas for generating electricityIn India too, industrial clusters in the regions of Gujarat, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh majorly, have been using natural gas for generating electricity. Result was an improved production economy and curtailed emissions. The Morbi industrial cluster in Gujarat has benefited socially and economically by utilising natural gas. Government’s directive to reduce pollution at the Taj Trapezium Zone in Agra, Uttar Pradesh, by the switchover from solid fuels (coal, coke) to natural gas is well mandated – result, a cleaner air.

The shortfalls in power supplies and recent cuts in domestic gas supplies at various industrial clusters, has lessened the vigour of industrial output, raised uncertainty over operating marginsand raised uncertainty towards meeting basic needs.

Giving importance to oil and gas and thermal power in the ‘Make in India’ campaign can revive the use of clean form of energy (natural gas), benefiting industry and environment at large.  Speedy execution of natural gas infrastructure – gas pipelines and LNG terminals – can ensure readiness for gas supplies. Moreover, domestic supplies from the newly found and existing natural gas reserves need to be made available full-throttle. Once the gas production, gas pipelines and consumers are in-sync, a renaissance can be scripted.

Instant heating and lesser emissions makes natural gas a popular fuel for generating electricity. When burnt in a gas engine configured with waste heat recovery, the plant efficiency achieved is around 90%, which means more kWh generated per cubic meter of gas alongwith the flexibility to yield heating and cooling as well. Gas engines serve an excellent power source and can be reliably operated in an island mode or can be synchronized with the power grid.  Moreover, for captive power generation the losses due to transmission and distribution are mitigated.

Industries across the globe have experienced the benefits of a gas fired power plant. In the Indian subcontinent too the manufacturing sector has experienced utility of natural gas to achieve their economies of scale and scope. With the government’s fillip to promote manufacturing, it becomes imperative to adopt proven technologies to harness industry’s energy needs and be sustainable.

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