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Pune-based Thermax Limited and Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), an Australia-based green energy and green technology firm, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore green hydrogen projects – including new manufacturing facilities – in India.

Under the MoU, Thermax and FFI plan to explore opportunities to jointly develop fully integrated green hydrogen projects for commercial and industrial customers in India.

The production of green hydrogen at an industrial scale would be a major step forward in decarbonising hard-to-abate industries in India, such as refineries, fertilisers and steel, the Pune-based firm said in a statement on Friday (10 March).

The MoU between Thermax and FFI also contemplates the potential collaboration in the development of new manufacturing facilities to support green energy projects in India.

The Performance Linked Incentive (PLI scheme), under India’s National Green Hydrogen Mission, could be leveraged for setting up any new manufacturing capacity, the company said.

In addition to meeting the domestic requirements, electrolysers and subsystems could potentially be used for export internationally, it added.

Fortescue Metals Group’s experience in managing large-scale projects in its iron ore business provides FFI – Fortescue’s green energy arm – with a strong platform to expand into manufacturing projects in green hydrogen.

Commenting on the collaboration, Ashish Bhandari, MD and CEO, Thermax, said, “The collaboration with Fortescue Future Industries is perfectly timed to leverage the massive potential of the Indian green energy market that presents a multitude of opportunities, backed by favourable policies and incentives".

"Furthermore, the recent approval of the National Green Hydrogen Mission by India's Union Cabinet, which aims to increase domestic production of green hydrogen to 5 MMT per annum by 2030 and reduce fossil fuel imports by over Rs 1 lakh crore, is a significant boost. With all these factors working in our favour, we are confident that our association will be successful," Bhandari added.

FFI CEO Mark Hutchinson said, “FFI is on a mission to replace fossil fuels by producing green electrons from renewable energy and then converting these green electrons into green hydrogen. Through the National Green Hydrogen Mission, the Indian Government has shown that it is committed to developing its green hydrogen industry to help the country decarbonise. We are thrilled to be working with Thermax and believe that this MOU with a company of such high standing will help us in our mission to eliminate emissions".