In today's dynamic business environment, innovation through a sustained process of Research & Development (R&D) is the only cutting edge tool for organisations to thrive. With emphasis on development and speedy commercialisation of globally competitive products, processes and technologies, the focus has now shifted from R&D to RD&D (Research, Development & Deployment).
INDMAX, a hallmark technology developed by the Centre for maximisation of LPG and light distillates from refinery residue, has been selected by IndianOil for setting up a 4 million metric tonnes per annum (MMTPA) INDMAX unit as a part of the 15 MMTPA integrated refinery-cum-petrochemicals complex at Paradip, as well as at Bongaigaon Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (BRPL). The Centre has also licenced its Diesel Hydrotreating technology to these two refineries. These successes have catapulted IndianOil R&D into the elite league of multinational technology licensors.
Standing in the company of six worldwide technology holders for Marine Oils, with the second global OEM (original equipment manufacturer) approval by Wartsila, Switzerland, IndianOil's SERVO Marine Oils are now technically qualified to cater to the lubrication requirements of more than 90% of the world's marine engine population. In the power-generation segment, the newly developed SERVO Marine K-Series was approved by Yanmar Co. Ltd. of Japan for use in their engines operating on distillate fuels.
The R&D Centre continues to provide significant support to the IndianOil Group refineries in product quality improvement, evaluation of catalysts and additives, health assessment of catalysts, material failure analysis, troubleshooting and in improving overall efficiency of operations. In-house developed FCC models are not only being used in IndianOil refineries for process optimisation but a similar model has also been sold to a multinational company. IndianOil has formed a joint venture company, Indo Cat Pvt. Ltd., with Intercat, USA, for manufacturing 15,000 tonnes per annum of FCC (fluidised catalytic cracking) catalysts & additives in India, for catering to rising global demand.
As a step towards ensuring energy security for the nation, IndianOil has launched several initiatives to exploit alternative sources of energy such as Hydrogen and Bio-fuels. Subsequent to commissioning India's first experimental H-CNG (Hydrogen-Compressed Natural Gas) dispensing unit at the R&D Centre campus at Faridabad, demonstration projects are underway on use of H-CNG blends in heavy and light vehicles. IndianOil is also setting up India's first commercial H-CNG dispensing station at one of its retail outlets in Delhi in the year 2008 for fuelling experimental vehicles running on H-CNG blends as well as on pure Hydrogen. IndianOil R&D is also working on production, storage, transportation, distribution and commercialisation of Hydrogen as an alternative fuel.
In Bio-fuels, besides spearheading commercialisation of Ethanol-Blended Petrol in the country, IndianOil has been in the forefront of technology development for Bio-diesel production from various edible and non-edible oils and its application in vehicles. Pioneering studies by IndiaOil's R&D Centre established that Bio-diesel produced from Jatropha seeds were at par with that produced from vegetable oils. In the past few years, the R&D Centre has studied the entire value chain of Bio-diesel, starting from Jatropha plantation to field trials on passenger cars, light commercial vehicles and railway locos in collaboration with several vehicle manufacturers, railways and state transport undertakings.
IndianOil, along with its subsidiary IndianOil Technologies Ltd., has been engaged in successful marketing of in-house developed technologies, technical services and training not only in India but abroad too.
IndianOil has, till date, invested close to Rs. 1,000 crore in setting up world-class facilities at its R&D Centre for building world-class capabilities in analytical services, engines, test rigs and pilot plants for all major refinery processes, catalyst characterisation & development, etc. It plans to invest about Rs. 500 crore during the period 2007-12 to maintain its leadership in downstream R&D activities in the hydrocarbon sector. While continuing with cutting edge R&D in the core areas of lubricants formulations, refinery process technologies and pipeline transportation, the thrust would now be on commercialising the developed technologies and initiating research in new frontier areas such as petrochemicals, residue gassification, coal-to-liquid, gas-to-liquid, alternative fuels, synthetic lubricants, nano-technology, etc. Through these R&D initiatives, IndianOil will continuously enhance value for all its stakeholders.
With over 3500 formulations of lubricating oil and greases, the SERVO product line developed by the R&D Centre enjoys the largest market share in India. While meeting the diverse needs of the Indian Industry as well as the Defence services, Railways, public utilities and transportation sectors, the R&D Centre developed and introduced many multigrade rail road oils and marine oils, making the Corporation the sixth global player and the sole Indian presence in the select league of marine oil technology developers the world over. SERVO Marine Oil series for DG sets has been approved by Wartsila of Finland and Switzerland for their entire series of Wartsila-Sulzur engines. Another accomplishment is the global approval from MAN B&W of Denmark for IndianOil's marine oils.