The foundation stone for Indian Oil Corporation’s (IndianOil) Technology Development & Deployment Centre, the second R&D Campus in Faridabad, India, was laid on June 29. Several government dignitaries, including Chief Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal and Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan participated in the virtual event.
The centre was designed to be a net-zero campus in terms of energy, with 100% of the process power to be generated by solar power. Additionally, the centre was designed to achieve the highest sustainability rating of LEED Platinum certification.
The new campus, which is being built on a 60-acre plot at a cost of approximately INR2,200 crores (USD292.5 million) would focus on demonstrating and deploying a wide range of technologies developed by IndianOil R&D and will work in tandem with the existing campus at Sector-13, Faridabad.
With its detailed project report prepared by a consortium of internationally renowned architects and science planners, the new R&D campus will house four Centres of Excellence: Alternative & Renewable Energy, Nanotechnology, Synthetic Biology and Corrosion Research.
The new campus will be an extension of IndianOil’s R&D Centre, set up at Faridabad in 1972 to establish domestic capabilities in producing a wide range of lubricating oils. Since then, the centre has developed more than 4,500 lubricant formulations. Today, IndianOil markets more than 800 grades of OEM-approved lubricants and greases to suit virtually every application across all sectors.
The R&D Centre has over the years blossomed into a state-of-the-art institution for downstream petroleum R&D, focussing on indigenous technologies and processes to suit Indian conditions. The centre has many achievements to its credit in the ‘Make in India’ spirit, having recently crossed the milestone of 1,000 patents and today stands at 1,164. While many refinery process technologies and catalysts developed by the centre have been adopted by various IndianOil and non-IndianOil refineries in the country, its IndMax technology was recently licensed to NIS, Serbia – a group refinery of M/s. Gazprom Neft, Russia.
In related news, IndianOil announced today that Madhav Vaidya has taken over as chairman of IndianOil, succeeding Sanjiv Singh who retired as of June 30. Prior to his appointment, Vaidya was director (Refineries) on the IndianOil Board. Vaidya, who became director (Refineries) in October 2019, has more than 34 years’ experience in refining and petrochemicals operations.
Concurrently, Vaidya will also be chairman of Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd., a stand-alone refining subsidiary of IndianOil and Indian Oiltanking Limited, another joint venture providing terminalling services, apart from being on the board of Hindustan Urvarak & Rasayan Ltd., a joint venture setting up three world-scale fertiliser plants. Vaidya, who is on the board of Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd., will be taking over as chairman and will also be a director on the Board of M/s Petronet LNG Limited.
A chemical engineer from the National Institute of Technology, Rourkela, Vaidya has had a decade-long association with India’s largest cracker plant – the Panipat Naphtha Cracker Complex, a major driver of IndianOil’s petrochemicals business. He is among the select technocrats in the Indian oil and gas industry who are proficient in all facets of refinery-petrochemicals integration.