CIAL to establish world’s first green hydrogen plant in airport

  • Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), Kerala has signed an agreement with Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL) for establishing a green hydrogen production facility within CIAL’s premises.
  • The green hydrogen plant on the airport premises will make Cochin International Airport Limited (CIAL), the first airport operator in the world to have a hydrogen power generation facility on its premises.
  • The agreement for the plant was exchanged in Thiruvananthapuram in the presence of Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan, who is also the ex-officio Chairman of CIAL.

What is Green Hydrogen?

Green hydrogen refers to hydrogen produced using renewable energy sources like solar or wind instead of fossil fuels, hence it has zero carbon emissions. It is produced through a process called electrolysis which separates hydrogen and oxygen from water. As a clean fuel, green hydrogen is important for sustainable future across sectors including transportation.

CIAL-BPCL Partnership

The Memorandum of Understanding signed between CIAL and BPCL, an oil and gas public sector company, aims to set up a plant with 1000KW capacity to produce green hydrogen at CIAL. The international airport operator, CIAL is taking the lead by adopting new energy technologies with support from BPCL which has expertise in hydrogen production, storage and technologies.

As per the agreement, BPCL will oversee the establishment of the integrated Green Hydrogen plant and fueling station at the Kochi airport, while CIAL will contribute land, water and green energy resources.
At present, the Cochin airport has a cumulative installed capacity of 50 MW of solar power generation. The solar farm produces 2,00,000 units of power a day.

Green Hydrogen Applications

Initially the green hydrogen may be utilized for airport’s own electric vehicle fleet like cars, buses and handling equipment thereby enabling it to achieve carbon neutrality goal by replacing existing fossil fuels with zero emission clean substitute. If the pilot is successful, it has scope for scaling up capacity to cater to state transportation corporation’s hydrogen buses likely to ply in Kochi and nearby cities. Availability is also crucial for hydrogen-based economy envisioned by Kerala.

Alignment With Green Goals

The plan for green hydrogen plant resonates strongly with CIAL’s avant-garde commitment towards environment protection through sustainable operating models mitigating aviation emissions and amplifying green footprint leveraging organizational autonomy. Producing renewable local fuel reinforces ecologically responsible leadership.

Advancing Kerala’s Hydrogen Roadmap

CIAL’s green hydrogen aspirations mirrors state government’s broader blueprint for transitioning mobility, energy and industrial sectors to hydrogen-based technologies mapped in 2021 policy eyeing 25% mix target by 2030 and leveraging Kerala’s high renewables share.


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