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India: Green hydrogen pilot to cover steel, transport and shipping sectors

The newly launched National Green Hydrogen Mission (NGHM) has identified three key sectors for the pilot projects in order to replace fossil fuel with green hydrogen. Steel, long-range heavy-duty mobility, energy storage, and shipping are the hard-to-abate sectors that would take up the projects for using green hydrogen.

The Union Cabinet last week approved an initial outlay of Rs 19,500 crore for the mission, which Prime Minister Narendra Modi had announced in his speech on the 75th Independence Day in 2021.

According to the plan released by the new and renewable energy ministry on Friday, for other hard-to-abate sectors, the mission has proposed pilot projects for replacing fossil fuels and fossil fuel-based feedstocks with green hydrogen and its derivatives.

“Pilot projects will help identify operational issues and gaps in terms of current technology readiness, regulations, implementation methodologies, infrastructure, and supply chains. These will serve as valuable inputs for future scaling commercial deployment,” it said.

For the steel sector, the mission has proposed to support efforts that enhance low-carbon steel production capacity. It said as the cost of green hydrogen is high, the steel plants can begin by blending a small percentage of green hydrogen in their processes and the blending proportion can be progressively increased. Green field projects aiming at 100 per cent green steel will also be considered, said the plan.

In the transport sector, the mission is looking at commercial vehicles to drive the demand for green hydrogen. “The mission proposes to support deployment of fuel-cell electric vehicles, buses and trucks, in a phased manner on pilot basis. It will also explore the possibility of blending green hydrogen-based methanol/ethanol and other synthetic fuels derived from green hydrogen in automobile fuels,” the plan noted.

Most ambitious targets are for the shipping sector wherein ports to shipping companies are expected to transition to green hydrogen. “The Shipping Corporation of India or in case of its disinvestment, its successor private entity will retrofit at least two ships to run on green hydrogen or other green hydrogen-derived fuels by 2027,” the mission stated.

Further, India’s oil and gas PSUs will be required to charter at least one ship each to be powered by green hydrogen or derived fuels by 2027. Thereafter, the companies will be required to add at least one ship powered by green hydrogen or its derivatives for each year of the mission. Green ammonia bunkers and refuelling facilities will be set up at least at one port by 2025. Such facilities will be established at all major ports by 2035, it said.

The mission will have four components, which would aim to enhance the domestic production of green hydrogen and promote manufacturing of electrolysers — a key component for making green hydrogen.

The initial outlay for the mission will include Rs 17,490 crore for the SIGHT programme, Rs 1,466 crore for pilot projects, Rs 400 crore for R&D, and Rs 388 crore towards other mission components, the Centre said in a statement. The initial target is to produce 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually.

The Strategic Interventions for Green Hydrogen Transition Programme, or SIGHT, would include two financial incentive mechanisms for domestic manufacturing of electrolysers and production of green hydrogen.
Source: Business Standard

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