CHENNAI: VOC Port in Thoothkudi, which is set to become the first green hydrogen hub of the country, has the potential to become a transhipment hub with the implementation of the Rs 6,000-crore outer harbour project, Union Shipping Secretary T K Ramachandran said.
A DPR for the project of the port which is among the three ports to be selected for becoming green energy hubs of the country is under examination and the process is likely to be completed soon, he said. Ramachandran was speaking at the Global Maritime India Summit 2023 roadshow organised by Chennai Port Authority in association with VOC Port Authority & Kamarajar Port Limited.
Currently, India does not have a transhipment port even after falling on the strategic route. Industries Secretary S Krishnan urged the Union Shipping Ministry to make VOC Port a transhipment port on the eastern coast of India as exporters and importers are dependent on the Colombo port.
Minister for Highways and Minor Ports E V Velu said the VOC Port expansion project will bring complete economic transformation and generate jobs. “The project will not only reduce significant costs incurred by Indian exporters and importers but also conserve precious foreign exchange.”
Union Shipping Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told reporters that the Union government is also looking at making Galathea Bay in Great Nicobar Island an international transhipment hub. “VOC Port has already wooed investment between Rs 50,000 crore to Rs 80,000 crore for setting up a hydrogen plant. The port is planning to establish a green hydrogen plant with a daily capacity of 10 tonnes to gain experience in generating, storing, transporting, transmitting and bunkering green hydrogen and its derivatives,” Sonowal said.
Sunil Paliwal, chairperson, of Chennai Port Authority, highlighted the importance of the Global Maritime India Summit in bringing foreign investments that accelerate infrastructure development and efficiency improvement. The summit is likely to woo investments to the tune of Rs10 lakh crore.