India has set its sight on becoming energy independent by 2047 and achieving Net Zero by 2070. To achieve this target, increasing renewable energy use across all economic spheres is central to India’s Energy Transition. Green Hydrogen is considered a promising alternative for enabling this transition.
n this context, the Indian Directorate General of Shipping has issued Merchant shipping notice featuring interim Requirements for ships carrying Liquefied Hydrogen, highlighting the need of building ships to move liquid hydrogen in large volume over large distances and thus the need to pilot such projects.
In particular, the National Green Hydrogen Mission was approved by the Union Cabinet on 4 January 2022, with an aim of making India a hub for the production and export of green hydrogen. The country supports that green hydrogen is the most competitive form of hydrogen in the long run and it enables India to potentially be one of the most competitive producers of green hydrogen in the world. Green hydrogen can achieve cost parity with natural gas-based hydrogen (grey hydrogen) by 2030, if not before.
Furthermore, the “Getting to Zero Coalition” has recognized that the use of zero emission fuels in shipping will be built, in part, on the back of new global hydrogen supply chains and for this to happen, the right infrastructure would need to be in place.
The IMO has issued “Interim Recommendations for Hydrogen carriers vide MSC 420(97) for application to pilot projects” and Cargo Carriage and Container sub-committee of IMO is working on developing this further with the experience gained from pilot projects.
The SOLAS Convention and the International Code for the Construction and Equipment of Ships carrying Liquefied gases in bulk (IGC Code) currently do not provide specific requirements for carriage of Liquefied Hydrogen. IGC Code states that requirements for new products and their conditions of carriage will be circulated as recommendations, on an interim basis, prior to the entry into force of the appropriate amendments.
Furthermore, the IGC Code specifies that for carriage of such new products, the Administration and the Port Administrations involved should establish a Tripartite Agreement based on a provisional assessment and lay down conditions of carriage. The Interim recommendations of the IMO are intended to facilitate establishment of a tripartite agreement for a pilot ship.