Kochi: Union Minister for Ports, Shipping & Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal has unveiled on Saturday the government’s plan for building Hydrogen Fuelled Electric Vessels, keeping pace with the Global Maritime Green Transitions. The move is part of India’s transformative efforts on the innovative and new technology front on green energy, sustainable cost-effective alternate fuel front. On the same occasion, the minister also announced that Cochin Shipyard Limited (CSL) has committed to investing an initial corpus of Rs 50 crore in start-up companies engaged in the maritime sector.
Announcing the start-up engagement framework on the occasion of the inauguration of the Golden Jubilee celebrations of CSL at a function held this afternoon in Kochi, he said the government is keenly focused on the development of the Start-Up ecosystem in the country. Many major initiatives, like “Start-Up India” etc, have facilitated the growth of numerous start-ups in the country. He said with a view towards the development of start-ups in the maritime domain, the ministry is working on a Start-up Engagement Framework, which will be promulgated shortly.
The start-up framework is envisaged to augment the government’s initiatives to develop an ecosystem in the country to support maritime start-ups from technical, regulatory, financial and marketing points of view by bringing stakeholders together. The framework will provide a platform for the young and talented entrepreneurs to develop the products/services in the marine space with financial support provided by CSL.
India's first Hydrogen-fuelled electric vessels
Sonowal also unveiled the government’s plan for building hydrogen-fuelled electric vessels keeping pace with the Global Maritime Green Transitions at the Workshop on Green Shipping organised by the Ministry jointly with CSL and The Energy and Resources Institute. The move is part of India’s transformative efforts on the innovative and new technology front on green energy, sustainable cost-effective alternate fuel front.
Hydrogen Fuel cells can be used in a wide range of applications, including transportation, material handling, stationary, portable, and emergency backup power applications. Fuel cells operating on hydrogen fuel are an efficient, environmentally-friendly, zero-emission, direct current (DC) power source already applied to heavy-duty bus, truck, and train applications, and are now under development for marine applications.
Project to be carried out by CSL
Sonowal stated that the project would be carried out by CSL in collaboration with Indian partners and the groundwork in this regard has already begun, wherein CSL has partnered with KPIT Technologies Limited and Indian developers in the areas of the Hydrogen Fuel Cell, power train and Indian Register of Shipping for developing rules and regulation for such vessels. He said The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vessel based on low-temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Technology (LT-PEM) called Fuel Cell Electric Vessel (FCEV) is expected to cost around Rs 17.50 crores of which 75 percent would be funded by the Government of India. The Minister laid emphasis on the protection of mother earth for our own survival. He declared that India is firmly committed to a sustainable and clean environment and that India had called for the “One Sun – One World – One Grid” initiative, as a lead player in the International Solar Alliance.
The development of Hydrogen Fuelled Electric Vessels is considered a launchpad for the country to tap the vast opportunities lying in the Coastal & Inland vessels segment both nationally and internationally. This project is expected to augment the efforts of the nation in achieving the Prime Minister’s ambitious target of becoming carbon neutral by 2070 and also in complying with the standards set by the International Maritime Organization (IMO) that envisages a reduction in the carbon intensity of international shipping by at least 40 percent by 2030 and progressively to 70 percent by 2050.
Minister of State for Ports, Shipping and Waterways Shantanu Thakur, MoPSW’s Secretary Dr Sanjeev Ranjan, NITI Aayog’s CEO Amitabh Kant (IAS), TERI’s Director General Dr Vibha Dhavan, Cochin Shipyard Limited’s CMD Madhu S Nair were the other dignitaries who took part in the session.
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