The shipping ministry has asked VO Chidambaranar (VOC) Port in Tamil Nadu and Deendayal Port in Gujarat to develop hydrogen hubs to catalyse the transition toward green fuel, according to a report in The Economic Times (ET). The ministry has also asked these two ports to buy hydrogen-powered ‘green tug’ boats, used for ushering large ships into berths.
Officials were quoted as saying that the Cochin Shipyard is in the advanced stages of developing green tugs that run on hydrogen. A senior official said that Jawaharlal Nehru Port, Paradip Port, VOC Port, and Deendayal Port will be buying two green tugs each, under the green tug transition programme.
By 2027, the Centre also aims to have two Indian ships that will be powered by green hydrogen or its derivative fuels. Officials said that this will be followed by the addition of at least two ships powered by green fuels every year. These plans align with the Centre’s goals to decarbonise its ports under the Harit Sagar Green Port Guidelines 2023. The guidelines aim to cut down on waste through the 4Rs -- reduce, reuse, repurpose, and recycle -- and achieve zero waste discharge from port operations. They also promote monitoring based on environmental indicators.
Under the guidelines of the Green Ports Policy, fleet owners will be given incentives for the adoption of compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and electric or green hydrogen-powered trucks. The initiative is intended to decrease emissions at major ports.
In March, Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal had said that Paradip Port, Deendayal Port, and VOC have been identified as “probable hydrogen hubs of the future”.
Sonowal said that the three major ports will be developed as hydrogen hubs of the future by 2030. The ministry will be setting up bunkers to enable hydrogen generation, storage, and handling as a part of the push towards green shipping and the National Hydrogen Mission.
The shipping ministry has been holding discussions with the power ministry to chalk out a roadmap.