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NEW DELHI : Union Shipping minister, Sarbananda Sonowal, announced on Saturday that Cochin Shipyard Limited has committed to invest an initial corpus of Rs. 50 crore in start-up companies engaged in the maritime sector.

The minister also unveiled the government’s plan to build hydrogen fuelled electric vehicles to keep pace with the Global Maritime Green Transitions at the Workshop on Green Shipping organised by the Ministry jointly with Cochin Shipyard Limited and The Energy and Resources Institute.

This is a part of India’s transformative efforts on innovation, green energy, sustainable and cost-effective fuel front.

Addressing the occasion, the minister said that the government is keenly focused on the development of the start-up eco-system in the country. With a view towards development of the maritime domain, the ministry is working on a start-up engagement framework which will be promulgated shortly.

“The start-up framework is envisaged to augment government’s initiatives to develop an ecosystem in the country to support maritime start-ups from technical, regulatory, financial and marketing point of view by bringing stakeholders together. The framework will provide a platform for the young and talented entrepreneurs to develop the products/services in the marine space with financial support provided by Cochin Shipyard Limited."

Hydrogen Fuel cells can be used in a wide range of applications, including transportation, material handling, stationary, portable, and emergency backup power applications. Fuel cells operating on hydrogen fuel are an efficient, environmentally-friendly, zero emission, direct current (DC) power source already applied to heavy duty bus, truck, and train applications, and are now under development for marine applications.

Sonowal added that the project will be carried out by Cochin Shipyard Limited in collaboration with Indian partners and the ground work in this regard has already begun; Cochin Shipyard Limited has partnered with KPIT Technologies Limited and Indian developers in the areas of Hydrogen Fuel cell, power train and Indian Register of Shipping for developing rules and regulation for such vessels.

“The Hydrogen Fuel Cell Vessel based on Low Temperature Proton Exchange Membrane Technology (LT-PEM) called Fuel Cell Electric Vessel (FCEV) is expected to cost around Rs. 17.50 crores of which 75% would be funded by the Government of India."

The Minister laid emphasis on the protection of the planet for our own survival.

“India is firmly committed towards a sustainable and clean environment and that India had called for the “One Sun – One World – One Grid" initiative, as a lead player in the International Solar Alliance."

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