The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal chaired the meeting to review the progress undertaken for the development of Green Ports and Green Shipping in India, as per Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030. The meeting was held with all major ports of India, Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) and IWAI (Inland Waterways Authority of India).
Sonowal said that the initiatives are being implemented by Major Ports of the country that include increased share of renewable energy to more than 60% across major ports by 2030, which includes setting up of solar supply vessels via berths, multi -clean fuel adoption for vehicles within the port ecosystem, gradual phasing out of diesel locomotives.
The Ministry of Ports, Shipping, and Waterways (MPSW) is working on the draft of a “Green Port Policy” to provide a framework and principles for incorporating green activities in the port sector. A number of initiatives have been taken in India to promote a green ecosystem in the maritime sector. These are in line with the International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s 2030 Decarbonization strategy and the 2050 GreenHouse Gasses (GHG) strategy.
According to the MIV 2030, a total of 963 initiatives with an estimated investment of Rs. 6,77,720.24 crores have been identified for implementation across all major ports, with a total of 208 initiatives with an estimated investment of Rs. 44,424.47 crores completed in FY 2021. However, 504 initiates with an estimated investment of Rs. 48,256.14 crores are under implementation. There are various projects that are being implemented by CSL to enhance the share of Green Shipping which includes green urban mobility solutions like Hybrid Electric Ferries, autonomous Zero-emission vessels, pilot projects on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry, Electric Catamaran Water Taxi, Hybrid Electric Ro-Ro, Hybrid LNG-Electric Inland Cargo Carrier, hybrid Tugs, etc.
The deployment of fully electric ferries and hydrogen-fueled boats on Inland Waterways is also being investigated as a strategy to boost river cruise tourism in the country. For example, in the initial phase, the deployment of Electric Catamaran Water Taxis is being examined in Varanasi and Guwahati. In addition, for river crossings in Guwahati, the usage of Hybrid Electric Roll-Roll (Ro-Ro) vessels with a dual fuel system (LNG+ battery) is being studied. On NW2 and NW1, the usage of hybrid LNG-electric Inland Cargo Carrier vessels is also being studied. Varanasi is also looking at the potential of deploying CNG vessels.
The pace at which the Green initiatives are undertaken by the 12 major ports will surely bring a green revolution in the sector making the ports cleaner and greener, which is also a key component of ‘Blue Economy’, creating environmental benefits and balancing the investments and cash flow.
Sonowal directed all the ports to take the green initiatives forward by putting dedicated proactive efforts towards the greening of the maritime sector including finalization of green port policy.