The VO Chidambaranar Port Authority in Tuticorin, Tamil Nadu has earmarked 500 acres of land for setting up a green hydrogen hub. It has also signed an MoU with NGEL (Subsidiary of NTPC) for installation of green hydrogen or derivative production facility.

A proposal for grant for developing the common infrastructure to support the green hydrogen projects has been submitted to MNRE, Sarbananda Sonowal, the Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said, post a mid-term review of the activities of the Ministry.

Ministry officials said, investments worth ₹100,00 crore are expected in the coming days across green hydrogen projects earmarked in the port.

In VO Chidambarnar Port, around 224 acres of land have already been leased to ACME Cleantech Solutions to generate green hydrogen and green ammonia. Investments are expected to be over ₹52,000 crore, sources said

Apart from Tuticorin port, Kandla port in Gujarat (also called Deendayal Port Authority) is setting up green hydrogen storage facilities. It has received “prominent responses” from 13 prospective developers against Global EoIs, Sonowal said adding that more than 7 million tonnes per annum (MTPA) of green ammonia production capacity has been offered across interested parties.

“The offered development will cater to the domestic and international demand of 1.4 MTPA of green hydrogen,” the Minister said.

So far, the Ministry has identified three ports to set up the green hydrogen bunkers — for storage, handling and generations - and these include Paradip Port (Odisha), Deendayal Port (Gujarat) and VO Chidambaranar Port (Tamil Nadu).

Across the three ports, a landlord model will be followed; where port authorities will have ownership of the land, while there will be common infrastructure developed by private companies.

The hydrogen storage, production and sale modalities will be taken care of by private players.

Green hydrogen push

Hydrogen, a clean energy source, is liquefied at a cryogenic temperature of -253°C, making it dense enough to be stored and transported as liquid hydrogen since its gaseous volume is reduced by 800 times during liquification.

One of the most abundant chemicals in existence, and used as an inert gas for a long time, hydrogen is recognised as the ultimate solution to the environmental challenges of clean transportation — reduction of greenhouse gases, pollution in cities and dependency on fossil fuels.

A senior Shipping Ministry official, told businessline that another few ports - like Kolkata, JNPT, Vizag - have also been asked to carry out studies and “set up the required infrastructure”.

“By 2047, all major ports (run by the Ministry) will have green hydrogen bunkering facilities. Ports have been asked to carry out studies and identify land parcels,” the official said.

Typically, to set up a one million tonne per annum green hydrogen plant, the land requirement is around 300 acres.

In Kolkata port non-contiguous land parcels and small plots have been identified; while JNPT in Mumbai is still in the process of identifying land.

“So either ports acquire additional land or we (Centre) will approach the State governments seeking land to set up bunkering and storage facilities,” the official said.

Inland waterways

The Jal Marg Vikas Project (JMVP) is being implemented with technical and financial assistance of the World Bank at a revised cost of ₹4,633.81 crore for the capacity augmentation of National Waterway-I (river Ganga) to enable movement of 1,500-2,000 tonne vessels.

According to Sonowal, for the development of inland waterways transport facilities and infrastructure in the northeast region, the Centre has sanctioned projects totalling ₹1,010 crore, including comprehensive development of NW-2 (the river Brahmaputra).

Projects for construction of elevated road for enhancing connectivity of Multi-Modal Terminal at Pandu and construction of an inland ship repair facility and under implementation.

“Development of 16 more NWs worth ₹267 crore have been approved for the period 2022-23 to 2025-26. And to boost green technology, a proposal for electric propelled technology vessels and hydrogen powered catamaran pax has also been made,” the Minister said.