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TN’s VOC Port will be India’s first green hydrogen hub: Sarbananda Sonowal

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CHENNAI, Feb 27: The VOC Port at Tuticorin in Tamil Nadu will become India’s first green hydrogen hub as it will develop an ecosystem of green ports and also emerge as a transshipment hub when Prime Minister Narendra Modi launches numerous initiatives on February 28, Union Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said on Tuesday.

Also, Chennai would become the gateway to the Eastern Maritime Corridor to Vladivostok, Russia, and further increase the bilateral trade between the two countries, he said.

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“Tomorrow PM Modi will lay the foundation stone, inaugurate, and dedicate to the nation 36 transformative projects worth over Rs 17,000 crore. This is a step towards Viksit Bharat @2047,” Sonowal told reporters here.

About 30 projects under his Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways worth Rs 10,324 crore would be inaugurated, foundation laid or dedicated by the prime minister, he said. Of these, six projects worth Rs 7,587 crore are only in the two ports in Tamil Nadu.

“Only a few years ago, our prime minister had announced that the government will take steps to make VOC Port as the transshipment hub on the east coast of India. Tomorrow this guarantee is going to be fulfilled,” Sonowal said.

Development of the Outer Harbour Container Terminal project at VOC Port, costing Rs 7,056 crore, will position it as a major transshipment hub on the east coast of India. This project will increase the container capacity of VOC Port Authority by many times and would significantly boost the state economy, he said.

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Further, it would reduce the logistics cost, and time thereby saving thousands of crores annually.

The VOC Port will be India’s first green hydrogen hub for large-scale production. Already 500 acres of land has been earmarked and a MoU has been signed with NTPC for installing a green hydrogen production facility, the union minister said.

For the first time in the country, an indigenously developed hydrogen fuel cell ferry built by Cochin Shipyard Limited will be launched as part of Atmanirbhar Bharat. This zero-emission, zero-noise vessel is a revolutionary step towards India becoming a hydrogen fuel vessel manufacturer, he said.

The Shipping Corporation of India (SCI) will convert the existing two ships to run on green hydrogen and it has been targeted to convert at least 50 per cent of all tugs into green tugs by 2030, he said.

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The Chennai-Vladivostok maritime corridor would significantly reduce the time required to transport cargo between India and Far East Russia by upto 16 days – from 40 to 24 days – besides considerably reducing the distance by upto 40 per cent.

Presently, the distance between Mumbai Port and the Port of St. Petersburg, by the Western Sea Route via Suez Canal, is 16,066 km, whereas the distance from Chennai Port to Vladivostok Port via the Eastern Maritime Corridor is only 10,458 km, he said, and added this would help in reducing logistics costs immensely, apart from hugely boosting the efficiency in transportation of cargo between the two countries. (PTI)

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