HPCL R&D geared towards power, efficiency

HPCL R&D geared towards power, efficiency

Public sector oil and gas behemoth Hindustan Petroleum Corporation (HPCL) has expressed that its R&D department has laid much focus on power and efficiency while developing its fuel solutions, even as it aims to tap the current rising trends, and gears for a ‘sustainable’ future.

HPCL’s 100-acre R&D centre, located east of Bengaluru, claims that much of its product development work is aimed at conservation of petroleum, which is a non-renewable resource. The centre’s seven laboratories — crude evaluation, analytical, hydro-processing, catalytic-cracking, catalysis, nano-catalysis, and bio-process — are also working towards indegenisation of processes as well. Explaining the company’s plans to DH, HPCL Executive Director (R&D) Sri Ganesh G said, “A lot of innovations are being planned for 2017. As a company, our focus is on power and efficiency, while for the future, the need is to concentrate about our reliance on petroleum.”

“We are working on efficient processes. For instance, we are designing some fuel-efficient components to go into engines being used in refineries and other industrial applications, where equipment generally tend to be energy guzzlers. We try to see how best we can conserve petrol through technology,” Sri Ganesh said.

HPCL is also gearing up for the advent of Euro VI by 2020, stating that its refineries will be quipped to produce that fuel in the said period.

“With respect to fuels, we are working on a (Euro IV) 10-ppm (parts-per million) diesel which will be launched by 2020. During its development, one of the problems we found was that when one reduces the sulphur to a very low level, there is failure in lubricity. Hence, we are developing a separate lubricity additive that will comply with the required specifications, which will also help us towards reaching Euro VI,” he said, adding that the company is also working on alternative fuels.

The company has also launched high octane petrol ‘Power 99’, targeted at fast luxury vehicles, and priced at Rs 97.06/litre. The product, which will first be retailed at select HPCL filling stations in Bengaluru, will be rolled out in other markets going forward.

Cashless flow

HPCL is also equipping itself for the growing cashless economy taking shape in the petroleum retail space.

Sharing the company’s way forward, HPCL Director (Marketing) S Jeyakrishnan said, “Of our over 14,000 filling stations, around 400 are company-owned, -operated, and -managed, where there is 50% conversion to cashless mode of payments on a daily basis. Whereas, if you consider on an all-India basis, and with other types of pumps, the same is averaging around 20-25%.”

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