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New Delhi : Union Ports, Shipping and Waterways Minister Sarbanand Sonowal on January 29, 2022, chaired a meeting with all major ports, Cochin shipyard Limited (CSL), and IWAI (Inland waterways Authority of India) to review the progress on various green initiatives being implemented, as per Maritime India Vision (MIV) 2030, for the development of Green Ports & Green Shipping in India.

Sonowal reviewed the progress of initiatives undertaken for development of green ports planned under Maritime India Vision 2030. As part of MIV 2030, a total of 963 initiatives have been identified for implementation across major ports at an estimated investment of Rs 6,77,720.24 crore of which a total of 208 initiatives at estimated investment of Rs 44,424.47 crore were completed in FY 2021. Further 504 initiatives at estimated investment of Rs 48,256.14 crores are under implementation.

A number of initiatives have been taken in India to promote green ecosystem in maritime sector. These are in line with International Maritime Organization (IMO)’s 2030 Decarbonisation strategy and 2050 Green House Gases (GHG) strategy. Initiatives are being implemented by Major Ports of India that include areas, such as increasing share of renewable energy to more than 60% across major ports by 2030, setting up of solar power plants, availing of shore power supply to vessels via berths, multi-clean fuel adoption for vehicles within port ecosystem, and gradual phasing out of diesel locomotives at ports, etc, according to a PIB release.

The green port initiatives include acquisition of equipment for monitoring environmental pollution, acquisition of dust suppression systems, setting up of sewage/ waste water treatment plants, setting up of garbage disposal system for ports and ships, developing shore reception facility for wastes from ships, setting up projects for energy generation from renewable energy sources, providing shore power to ships at berths, creating Oil Spill Response (Tier-1) capabilities at all ports, taking action to improve harbour water quality, inclusion of sustainable practices in terminal design, development and operation, and increasing green cover within port premises etc.

The Ministry is also working on draft of a “Green Port Policy” document to suggest framework and guidelines for incorporation of green initiatives in the port sector.

In order to enhance the share of Green Shipping, various projects are being implemented by Cochin Shipyard Ltd., India’s largest shipbuilding and maintenance facility. They include green urban mobility solutions like Hybrid Electric Ferries, autonomous Zero-emission vessels, pilot project on Hydrogen Fuel Cell Ferry, Electric Catamaran Water Taxi, Hybrid Electric Ro-Ro, Hybrid LNG-Electric Inland Cargo Carrier, Hybrid Tugs, etc.

Possibilities are also being explored for deployment of fully electric ferry and hydrogen fuelled ferries on Inland Waterways for enhancement of river cruise tourism in the country. For instance, Electric Catamaran Water Taxi deployment is being considered at Varanasi and Guwahati in first phase. Additionally, use of Hybrid Electric Roll on -Roll off (Ro-Ro) vessels having dual fuel system (LNG+ battery) is being considered at Guwahati for river crossings. Use of Hybrid LNG-electric Inland Cargo Carrier vessels is also being considered on NW2 and NW1 . Possibility of deploying CNG vessels at Varanasi is also being explored.

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.