Indian govt to bankroll green shipping as ports embrace hydrogen and green tugs

India Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) has vowed to provide 30% financial support for the promotion of green shipping.

Image credit MoPSW

This initiative reflects the government’s dedication to fostering sustainable practices within the shipping industry, which is known for its significant environmental impact. By providing financial incentives, the ministry aims to encourage shipping companies to adopt greener technologies and reduce their carbon footprint.

Furthermore, under the Green Tug Transition Programme, four major ports, namely Jawaharlal Nehru Port, VO Chidambaranar Port, Paradip Port, and Deendayal Port, Kandla, will procure two green tugs each. Green tugs are vessels equipped with eco-friendly technologies that minimize emissions and promote cleaner operations. This step not only enhances the efficiency of port operations but also contributes to reducing pollution in the surrounding areas.

India has been upping its game over the recent period in support of decarbonization of its shipping industry and adoption of green fuels.

Earlier this month the country launched the Green Tug Transition Programme as part of its strategy to become a green hub for green shipbuilding.

The programme will start with green hybrid tugs which will be powered by green hybrid propulsion systems and subsequently adopt non-fossil fuel solutions like methanol, ammonia and hydrogen.

The target has been set for the initial green tugs to start working in all major ports by 2025. At least, 50% of all the tugs are likely to be converted into green tugs by 2030, helping the country considerably reduce emissions as it moves towards achieving sustainable development.

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In addition, the government plans to establish green hydrogen hubs at Deendayal Port, Kandla, and VO Chidambaranar Port, Tuticorin. Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis using renewable energy sources, making it a clean alternative to conventional fuels. Developing these hubs will facilitate the adoption of green hydrogen as a fuel for various maritime activities, further promoting sustainable practices in the sector.

Recognizing the importance of streamlining processes for river and sea cruises, the ministry aims to design a single-window portal. This portal will serve as a centralized platform for facilitating and monitoring bookings and operations related to cruises, both on rivers and at sea. By simplifying procedures and providing a seamless experience for travelers, the government aims to boost tourism and enhance the overall cruise industry.

Lastly, Jawaharlal Nehru Port and VO Chidambaranar Port, Tuticorin, are set to become smart ports by 2024. The concept of smart ports involves the integration of advanced technologies and digitization to optimize port operations, improve efficiency, and enhance security. By transforming these ports into smart ports, India aims to position itself as a leader in the global maritime sector, where cutting-edge technologies play a vital role.

To ensure the timely implementation of these initiatives, Minister of Shipping Shri Sarbananda Sonowal announced a mid-year review to assess progress. He emphasized that any delays in project completion would be met with strict action.

The ministry also wants to improve port administration, standardization, cargo handling, and enhance public-private partnerships in inland waterways and coastal shipping. The implementation of various initiatives under the Sagarmala Programme has already led to significant improvements in port efficiency and an increase in cargo movement by coastal shipping and inland waterways, the ministry said.