Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to launch ‘Green Port’ guidelines this week

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Under the Maritime India Vision 2030, the Government of India has taken more than 150 initiatives to strengthen the ports in the country. ‘Safe, Sustainable and Green Maritime Sector’ is one of the focus areas under the MIV 2030. In this context, the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways (MoPSW) will be launching the ‘Green Port’ guidelines this week.

MIV 2030 has identified key interventions like increasing usage of renewable energy, reducing air emissions, optimizing water usage, improving solid waste management, Zero accident safety program, and centralized monitoring system identified to further bolster India towards leading the world in Safe, Sustainable and Green ports.

The new Green Port guidelines prescribe least 12 major government owned ports to take a series of measures to reduce their carbon footprint. These include enhancing their green cover to 20% and electrification of all port equipment to 50%, by the target year. A complete ‘shore-to-ship’ power supply also needs to be established by the ports by 2025. The port authorities will also need to undertake an ‘annual environment audit’ by a credible agency and report the results on their respective websites.

“During the period when the ships with EXIM (export-import) cargo are not moving, their engines are not switched off as several other routine activities continue. If we can provide cleaner power supply to these ships from the ports, we will be able to arrest this pollution in a big way,” said an official.

The Government’s strategy to reduce the carbon footprint will not only encourage adoption of greener technologies and practices at port, but also devise ways to use cleaner fuels for feeder services and operate using renewable sources of power. For example, the major ports will go for retrofitment or conversion of diesel equipment such as loaders, cranes and other vehicles to be electrically powered in a phased manner. In future procurement of these equipment, the port authorities will need to go for electric, methanol, hydrogen-powered machines.

Sources said the port authorities will also be allowed to offer ‘Green Ship Incentives’. Under this, ships using cleaner fuel and having shore power reception facility may get queue priority or rebate in berth dues. The ports can also identify and incentivise truck operators who use clean fuel. Similarly, the ports can give incentives to private players in the port project which adopt cleaner and sustainable practices.

To take forward this agenda of ‘Safe, Sustainable and Green ports’, Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways has drafted ‘Strategic Action Plan towards a Safe, Sustainable and Green Ports envisaged in MIV 2030’. This document will enable the ports to chalk out a roadmap in achieving the targets set out in the MIV 2030. It contains details about the focus areas and their associated outcomes that a port shall endeavor to achieve to be labelled as ‘green port’.

The strategic action plan suggests projects that various ports can undertake to do their bit towards a sustainable maritime sector. The plan sheds light on the role of Public Private Partnership (PPP) in driving and implementing various green initiatives.

India has pledged to reduce the emissions intensity per unit GDP by 33-35% below 2005 level , as well as generate 40% of the nation’s energy via renewable sources by 2030. While maritime shipping contributes a 95% share in trade volume and 65% in trade value for India, it is also one of the major sources of the country’s carbon emissions.