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Business News/ Economy / Panama and India to explore green hydrogen collaboration
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Panama and India to explore green hydrogen collaboration

Panama hopes to transform itself into a global hub for hydrogen and green shipping with India’s help.

In an exclusive interview with Mint, the Panamanian foreign minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo said that both the countries would collaborate to develop green hydrogen as an alternate fuel for shipping. (Mint)Premium
In an exclusive interview with Mint, the Panamanian foreign minister Janaina Tewaney Mencomo said that both the countries would collaborate to develop green hydrogen as an alternate fuel for shipping. (Mint)

NEW DELHI : India and Panama are in talks to explore collaboration on renewable technologies like green hydrogen, said the foreign minister of Panama Janaina Tewaney Mencomo. In an exclusive interview with Mint, the Panamanian foreign minister said that both countries could collaborate to develop green hydrogen as an alternate fuel for shipping. Panama hopes to transform itself into a global hub for hydrogen and green shipping with India’s help.

Panama, which is host to the strategic Panama Canal, plays a key route for global shipping. The Panama Canal sees traffic from 13,000 ships every year.

The Central American country has major plans in terms of green hydrogen. In January last year, Panama’s National Energy Secretariat released the ‘Green Hydrogen Roadmap’, which identifies hydrogen as the future fuel and aims to position Panama as the region’s ‘Global Green Hydrogen Route’.

“Panama is planning to become a hub for hydrogen. Recently, we have noticed that around 29% of the ships crossing the Panama Canal are using diesel fuel. Our interest is to be part of a transformation towards green energy," said Minister Mencomo.

India’s own plans to become a hydrogen hub have attracted Panama’s attention. “Before coming to India, I saw that Prime Minister Modi’s cabinet had approved a package to make India a hub for hydrogen. So there are common interests and possibilities to link our efforts. We can do more than what we are doing right now."

The talks also come in the backdrop of India’s union cabinet approving the 19,744 crore Nation Green Hydrogen Mission last week to produce 5 million tonnes of green hydrogen annually by 2030. The central government expects the mission to attract investments worth 8 trillion by 2030.

India also has plans to run ships on green energy. On 12 January 2022, Mint reported that Centre is exploring plans to run ships 100% on green energy that may involve a hybrid energy model comprising a mix of solar, sea water, wind, and hydrogen.

This can be a potential game changer as maritime transport accounts for about 95% and 70% of India’s trade by volume and value.

Under the green hydrogen mission also, India would also carry out pilot projects for utilization of green hydrogen in shipping, road transport and production of green steel. By 2027, two ships would be retrofit to run on green hydrogen and the required supply chain, port infrastructure, green ammonia bunkers and re-fuelling facilities would be set up in the country, under the mission.

This is not the first time India has been involved in international cooperation for green hydrogen India has taken up initiatives with countries and blocks. In October last year, India and France adopted ‘Indo-French Roadmap on the Development of Green Hydrogen’.

Last September, European Commissioner for Energy, Kadri Simson, and R.K. Singh, Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy, government of India, inaugurated the First EU-India Green Hydrogen Forum.

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Published: 11 Jan 2023, 11:18 PM IST
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