The Union Minister of Ports, Shipping & Waterways (MoPSW) and Ayush, Sarbananda Sonowal on Wednesday announced the ‘Green Tug Transition Programme’ (GTTP).

The programme will start with ‘Green Hybrid Tugs’, which will be powered by green hybrid propulsion systems, and subsequently adopt non-fossil fuel solutions that include the likes of methanol, ammonia and hydrogen), the Minister said.

A tug boat or tugs are marine vessels that manoeuvre ships by pushing or pulling them, mostly using tow lines. These boats are known to tug ships in circumstances where the latter cannot or does not move using its own power – for example in narrow harbours, canals and so on.

According to officials, the Ministry has set a target for the green tugs to start working in all major ports by 2025.

At least half of the existing tug boats at India’s major ports will be converted in green tugs by 2030, which will considerably reduce emission.

CoE in Green Port & Shipping

Sonowal also inaugurated India’s first Centre of Excellence in Green Port & Shipping (NCoEGPS) - a collaboration between the Ministry of Ports, Shipping & Waterways and the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI). The centre is housed within the TERI complex in Gurugram.

According to Sonowal, with the NCoEGPS acting as the nodal entity, for the industry, plans are now afoot to make India a ‘Global hub for building Green Ships’ by 2030. 

The NcoEPS will engage in developing the regulatory framework and alternative technology adoption roadmap for green shipping in India.

“We have been working towards strengthening our efforts towards building self reliance in green ship building, and installation of green solutions in all possible areas. We hope to become the global hub of Green Ship Building by 2030,” Sonowal said.

The PM Gati Shakti - National Master Plan for Multi Modal Connectivity along with the Green Ports initiative has already accelerated the development of green logistics supply chain in the country.

The NCoEGPS will act as a technology arm of the Ministry for providing the needed support on policy, research and cooperation on green shipping areas.