Union Minister Mr Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurates the first National Centre of Excellence in Green Port and Shipping at TERI campus
New Delhi, March 22, 2023: The country’s first National Centre of Excellence in Green Port and Shipping (NCoEGPS), a collaboration between the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), was inaugurated by Union Minister Mr Sarbananda Sonowal at the research institution’s field station in Gwal Pahari, Gurugram on Wednesday.
With the green transition of Indian ports critical to align the sector’s growth to India’s sustainable development commitments, the new NCoEGPS is expected to play a vital part in greening the shipping industry by steering it towards carbon neutrality and circular economy. The NCoEGPS will be involved in developing the regulatory framework and alternate technology adoption roadmap for green shipping in India.
In the year, India holds the G20 Presidency, Mr Sarbananda Sonowal, Union Minister for Ports, Shipping and Waterways, said that the setting up of the NCoEGPS reflects our commitment towards a greener environment. “The specific objective of the centre is to empower ‘Make in India’ in ports, coastal and inland water transport, and to enable fast track innovation in order to provide the most appropriate and technologically advanced and sustainable solutions to the sector,” said the Minister.
Mr Sonowal also announced that the Ministry plans to launch green hybrid tugs to be used in the ports and scale it upto 50% by 2030. Underlining the vital role the shipping industry plays in the sustainable growth of the country’s trade and commerce, the Minister added, “India intends to increase the share of renewable energy to 60% of the total power demand of each of its major ports from a present share of less than 10%. The ports also aim to reduce carbon emission per tonne of cargo handled by 30% by 2030.”
The NCoEGPS, which is housed on TERI’s campus near Gurugram, will work to provide the decision makers at the national and sub-national level with methodology and framework to implement carbon neutrality measures in the shipping sector. The centre will work towards helping the sector meet the obligations under the Paris Agreement.
Highlighting that attaining carbon neutrality and reducing carbon footprint in the shipping sector is now critical, Mr Sudhansh Pant, Secretary, MoPSW, in his keynote address, said, “By 2030, 60% of the sector’s energy consumption has to be from renewable sources.”
Observing that the push towards greening the shipping sector is in full swing, particularly in the backdrop of the Green Hydrogen Mission being launched, Mr Pant noted that work on Green Hydrogen cell-based vessels are in progress. “Within the next six months, the first hydrogen cell-based vessel will be available.”
He noted that NCoEGPS will be the “single-point contact” for the Ministry in matters relating to green port, green shipping, and green vessels and will be pivotal in evolving solutions in terms of policy, research, and technology that will enable the greening of the sector. Dr Sanjeev Ranjan, Chairman, National Shipping Board, was present during the inauguration of the centre along with Mr Madhu S Nair, Chairman and Managing Director Cochin Shipyard Limited, Mr SK Mehta, Deendayal Port Authority, Mr PL Haranadh, Paradip Port Authority, and Mr TK Ramachandran, Chidambaranar Port Authority.
In his welcome address, Mr Rajesh Kumar Sinha, Additional Secretary, MoPSW, noted that shape of the shipping sector in the future will largely be determined by the NCoEGPS as it is mandated to come out with implementable and ready-to-rollout solutions.
Giving an overview of TERI’s work across sectors, Dr Vibha Dhawan, Director General, TERI, underscored that the centre will aim to provide solutions to the problems faced by the sector through scientific research by collaborating closely with the four ports and technical expertise from countries such as Norway and Denmark.
The national centre will act as a technological arm of MoPSW and engage with the policy and research aspects related to green shipping and work on areas of energy and emission management and sustainable maritime operations.
The Memorandum of Agreement on the setting up the NCoEGPS was signed between the ministry along with the four entities under it -- the Deendayal Port Authority, Paradip Port Authority, VO Chidambaranar Port Authority and Cochin Shipyard Limited, and TERI in November last year.
In the beginning, the NCoEGPS will work on 10 crucial projects, including ones on developing a regulatory framework for the usage of wind energy for marine applications, and identifying a suitable biofuel for blending with conventional marine fuels. It will also work towards identifying a fuel-cell technology for long haul shipping as well as developing a regulatory framework for the transportation of hydrogen upto 700 bar pressure. It will also prepare detailed project reports on low energy consumption port, and on an offshore platform for tapping solar energy, and the production, storage and usage of green hydrogen.
The work under NCoEGPS will be based on funding support for infrastructure development and supporting research and capacity-building by the MoPSW and entities under it for the period of five years.