KOCHI: In a landmark announcement, Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Saturday that the Cochin Shipyard will develop and build the first indigenous hydrogen-powered vessels under the efforts to achieve green shipping.
Speaking at the Green Shipping Workshop hosted by the Ministry of Ports and Shipping at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Kochi, the minister said the ships will be built by the Cochin Shipyard.
The move is part of India’s transformation efforts on the front of green energy and cost-effective alternative fuels. Hydrogen fuel cells can be used in a wide range of applications including transportation, material handling, stationary, portable and emergency backup power applications. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells are an efficient and environmentally friendly direct current (DC) power source and are currently being developed for marine applications.
The minister said that Cochin Shipyard Limited will implement the project in collaboration with Indian partners and the preparatory work for the project has already started. The Cochin Shipyard has partnered with Indian developers of hydrogen fuel cells, powertrains and the Indian Registry of Shipping to develop rules and regulations for these vessels.
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The hydrogen fuel cell vessel is based on Low Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane (LT-PEM) technology called Fuel Cell Electric Vessel (FCEV) and is expected to cost around Rs. 17.50 crore of which 75% will be funded by the Union government.
The development of hydrogen fuel cell electric vessels is seen as a launching pad for the country to tap into the potential of the coastal and inland vessel segment both domestically and internationally. The project is expected to increase efforts to achieve the Prime Minister’s target of becoming carbon neutral by 2070. It will also meet standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) which is considering a reduction in intensity carbon from international emissions. at least 40% by 2030 and 70% by 2050.
The minister said India is firmly committed to a sustainable and clean environment. India has called for the “One Sun – One World – One Grid” initiative as a lead player in the International Solar Alliance, he noted.
Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shantanu Thakur, Secretary of Ministry of Ports Dr. Sanjeev Ranjan, CEO of Niti Aayog Amitabh Kant, Director General of Energy Institute and Resources, Dr. Vibha Dhavan, Head of Global Partnerships and Projects, International Maritime Organization, Jose Matheickal, Christian Valdes Carter, Country Manager, Innovation Norway India, and Madhu S Nair, CMD of Cochin Shipyard, spoke on this occasion.