Interview: Ashish Modi

President at Honeywell India

Honeywell growth strategy focused on Energy Transition, Automation, and the Future of Aviation

July 02, 2024. By News Bureau

Honeywell growth strategy, focused on Energy Transition, Automation, and the Future of Aviation, is strongly aligned with India's economic trajectory and market opportunities. Honeywell has a deep-rooted legacy in India spanning over nine decades, and the company recognises India's pivotal role as a strategic market globally, says Ashish Modi, President, Honeywell India in an interview with Energetica India.

Que: Can you provide insights into Honeywell's partnership with ENEOS for developing the world’s first commercial-scale Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) project? How does this project align with Honeywell's focus on energy transition and sustainabi

Ans: Honeywell’s partnership with ENEOS to develop the world’s first commercial-scale Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier (LOHC) project is aligned with our commitment to bringing solutions that can help curb greenhouse gas emissions. The LOHC solution will enable long-distance transportation of clean hydrogen and can help meet the growing requirements for hydrogen use across various industries by leveraging existing refining assets and infrastructure under standard conditions. Hydrogen, being a flammable gas with low density, encounters inefficiencies in transportation and LOHC effectively bridges this gap. This partnership addresses the logistical challenges of hydrogen distribution and promotes its role in international supply chains, crucial for fostering lower-carbon economies.

Que: Could you elaborate on Honeywell's vision regarding hydrogen as a clean fuel source and its potential impact on reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

Ans: We see hydrogen as a crucial component of the global clean energy transition. Green hydrogen can be used in many applications and it can help many industries and processes move towards carbon neutrality including refining, steel, fertilisers and transportation. Hydrogen can be a game-changer for sectors like steel and chemical production, where decarbonisation is particularly challenging with current technologies.

Through our advanced automation technology and our extensive product suite, Honeywell is leading innovation across the entire hydrogen value chain, ranging from production to consumption. For instance, we have partnered with green hydrogen producers and electrolyser OEMs for our broad automation portfolio of instrumentation, control systems and advanced software offerings to enable plant efficiency and safety. Our exhaustive range of solutions encompasses: Liquid Organic Hydrogen Carrier, Catalyst Coated Membrane and Automation Portfolio. By providing solutions across the entire hydrogen value chain, Honeywell is helping to accelerate the adoption of this clean energy source and enabling the industry to achieve significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, thereby spearheading the journey towards Net Zero.

Que: The aviation industry increasingly focuses on sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and exploring hydrogen as a potential zero-emission fuel source. How does Honeywell envision hydrogen's role in decarbonizing the aviation sector?

Ans: Honeywell sees hydrogen playing a crucial role in decarbonising the aviation sector, and its vision focuses on two main aspects:

• Zero-Emission Potential: We emphasise hydrogen's potential as a zero-emission fuel source when used in hydrogen fuel cells for aircraft propulsion. Unlike conventional jet fuel, which releases carbon dioxide and other pollutants during combustion, hydrogen fuel cells produce only water vapors as a byproduct.

• Gradual Transition: Sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) plays a vital role in the aviation decarbonisation roadmap in the short/medium term. Last year, we introduced an innovative technology designed to generate low-carbon aviation fuel using green hydrogen and captured carbon dioxide. This breakthrough has the potential to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions within the aviation sector, recognised as one of the most challenging industries to electrify and decarbonise. This advanced process boasts an 88% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to conventional petroleum-based jet fuel. HIF Global, an energy producer, has ambitious plans to implement this technology at a facility aimed at recycling approximately 2 million tons of captured carbon dioxide. Their target is to produce around 11,000 barrels per day of Sustainable Aviation Fuel (SAF) by the year 2030.

Que: The partnership with Acelen Renewables marks the 50th site to license Honeywell’s renewable fuels technology. How does it reflect Honeywell's leadership in renewable fuels technology?

Ans: The collaboration between Honeywell and Acelen Renewables underscores our commitment to leading the way in delivering sustainable solutions across diverse industries. The increasing demand for renewable fuel technologies over the past two years aligns closely with global initiatives for decarbonisation, particularly in the field of air travel. Achieving our 50th license is a testament to Honeywell's forefront position in renewable fuels underpinned by our capability to offer one of the most extensive ranges of feedstock processing technologies in the market. Among the 50 licenses, eight facilities are currently operational, with more than 40 licensed plants scheduled to be in operation by 2030. The combined renewable fuel capacity of these plants, operating at peak efficiency, is anticipated to surpass 500,000 barrels per day. BP, CVR Energy, Diamond Green Diesel, Eni, Repsol, Total Energies, and World Energy are some of the companies around the world currently licensing Honeywell's renewable fuels technology.

Que: Honeywell Automation India has announced a partnership with Reliance Life Sciences for building management and safety technology. Can you discuss the details of this partnership?

Ans: Honeywell is collaborating with Reliance Life Sciences on a comprehensive building management and safety solution across multiple facilities in Nashik, Maharashtra. This project encompasses the supply, installation, testing, and commissioning of integrated building management command and control systems, as well as environment monitoring systems. Additionally, Honeywell is integrating Reliance Life Sciences' existing fire detection and voice evacuation systems with its Connected Life Safety Services (CLSS).

This partnership extends beyond the initial deployment, with Honeywell providing seven years of annual maintenance support, ensuring sustained operational excellence. The project is a significant achievement for Honeywell in the pharmaceutical industry vertical, as it involves the integration and deployment of the company's Enterprise Buildings Integrator (EBI) Command Control Suite and CLSS.

Honeywell's superior building management and safety technology will enhance the overall safety, efficiency, and sustainability across Reliance Life Sciences' operations. The EBI Command and Control Suite provides Reliance Life Sciences with a unified dashboard, offering a comprehensive overview of its building management and security systems. This integration enables Reliance Life Sciences to oversee numerous operations and stations across its 160-acre facility more efficiently.

Honeywell takes pride in partnering with Reliance Life Sciences on this automation journey, leveraging its expertise to deliver cutting-edge solutions that optimise operations and bolster safety measures.

Que: Honeywell has a significant presence in India with a focus on digitalisation, automation, and sustainability. How does the company plan to align its growth vectors with India's economic trajectory and market opportunities?

Ans: : Honeywell growth strategy, focused on Energy Transition, Automation, and the Future of Aviation, is strongly aligned with India's economic trajectory and market opportunities. Honeywell has a deep-rooted legacy in India spanning over nine decades, and the company recognises India's pivotal role as a strategic market globally.

India is now at the center of the energy transition, combining economic and energy demand growth with rapid decarbonisation efforts. The country has set ambitious targets, including achieving 50 percent of its generation capacity from non-fossil fuel resources by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2070.

India's power sector currently accounts for 34 percent of the nation's total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, with fossil fuels making up 75 percent of the energy mix for electricity generation. Urgent action is required to decarbonise this sector, offering significant potential for reducing GHG emissions across residential, commercial, and industrial domains. Honeywell presents ready-now solutions leveraging renewable resources to aid India's transition. These include smart microgrids for load management, energy storage solutions, and dispatchable power generators ensuring grid reliability amid fluctuations in renewable output.

The transport sector contributes 10 percent of India’s total GHG emissions, with more than 300 million vehicles on Indian roads. However, this sector is expected to grow significantly, and abating its GHG emissions is extremely challenging. Decarbonising road and rail transportation can be further accelerated by the adoption of green diesel. Honeywell’s Ecofining technology enables the production of green diesel that can be a drop-in replacement, requiring no changes to fleet technology or the fuel storage and delivery infrastructure. The new and innovative ethanol-to-jet fuel (ETJ) processing technology allows producers to convert corn-based, cellulosic, or sugar-based ethanol into sustainable aviation fuel. Depending on the type of ethanol feedstock used, jet fuel produced from Honeywell’s ethanol-to-jet fuel process can reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 80 percent on a total lifecycle basis, compared to petroleum-based jet fuel.
Urban centers are vital for economic growth, projected to contribute 75 percent of India’s GDP by 2030. However, building construction and operations are major contributors to energy consumption, causing 5 percent of total GHG emissions, alongside emissions from electricity consumed in buildings. Honeywell has proven technologies for smart city management, building energy efficiency, indoor air quality (IAQ), and low GHG building materials. Honeywell technologies are used in over ten million buildings worldwide.

Industrial manufacturing constitutes 28 percent of India’s GHG emissions, with key sectors like steel, cement, refining, iron, aluminum, and mining expected to grow, amplifying both investments and emissions. Honeywell's diverse range of process, environment, and industrial control systems can play a crucial role in transitioning these sectors to lower emissions.

Honeywell’s Sustainability Solutions are developed based on foundational pillars of Circular Economy, Energy Evolution, Environmental Transformation, Health Safety, Security, Resilience, and Accountability. Globally, 60 percent of Honeywell's research and development expenditure is focused on solving sustainability challenges for its customers, with much of the technology development work being undertaken in India, which is a matter of great pride for the company.

Enhanced automation and digitalisation are crucial for India's progression towards Industry 4.0 objectives. With the advent of 5G, increased connectivity, and faster internet speeds, there's a surge in the number of devices and individuals connected online. Honeywell plays a leading role in the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) space. Honeywell is enabling India’s adoption of Industry 4.0 with solutions ranging from process automation and IIoT to comprehensive remote services (including monitoring, engineering, factory acceptance tests (FAT), and maintenance and cybersecurity for operational technology (OT).

India’s aviation sector is booming. The country is poised to become the third-largest aviation market soon. Currently, the country has a fleet of ~750 aircrafts, and >1500 additional aircrafts are expected to be added by 2035. Our aviation portfolio is strongly positioned to bring the latest advancements in aviation technology to the country. Honeywell continues to innovate and adapt technologies to help drive the certification and adoption of advanced air mobility technologies, including avionics, flight controls, advanced sensors, and detect and avoid (DAA) technologies.

Que: Looking ahead, what are the key priorities and growth strategies for Honeywell's Building Automation division, particularly in terms of innovation, market expansion, and partnerships?

Ans: Honeywell is a long-standing provider of best-in-class building automation technologies, well-positioned to support India's infrastructure build-out. For example, we partnered on the Bangalore Safe City project to install a Command and Control Center, 7000 AI-enabled cameras across the city, body-worn cameras, and drones. The Phase 1 of the project was inaugurated in March 2023.

Our vision is to evolve from automation to autonomous systems, leveraging its extensive expertise in sensors and controls that automate various aspects of buildings, such as air quality, emissions control, and HVAC systems.

Honeywell's advanced systems, grounded in its long-time expertise, are customised for office buildings, commercial/industrial facilities, and schools, enabling the monitoring, control, and adjustment of air quality, temperature, HVAC systems, energy consumption, and emissions.

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