INMEX SMM spotlights role and impact of marine renewable technologies

                                                                                                                                               -Sriti Devadiga

INMEX SMM India has recently started a series of content-rich webinars focusing on current trends, contemporary challenges, and smart solutions in the maritime industry. The first webinar was held on 10th August. It discussed the role of marine renewable technologies and their impact on the industry.

The webinar was attended by various stakeholders of the maritime industry, representatives of various shipping companies and seafarers. It witnessed the industry leaders and stalwarts debate and share insights on the pressing issues in the segment.

Gracing the occasion as its panellists were – Mr Sanjay Sethi, IAS, Chairman, Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust; Mr Jyotisman Dasgupta, VP, Arush Gas Technology Services & President, Institution of Naval Architects; Mr Jayant Singh, IRTS, Vice Chairman, Inland Waterways Authority of India & Project Director, Jal Marg Vikas Project and Mr Sandith Thandasherry, Founder CEO – Navalt, Xship, Navgathi. The panel was chaired and moderated by Mr Thomas Philip, Associate Director, KPMG India.

The webinar showcased ways and means on how new technologies, innovations and contemporary solutions come to play to combat the challenges in the industry.

The role of renewables as a marine fuel in meeting IMO’s GHG emission targets was touched upon.

“To achieve the IMO target to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 50% by 2050, alternative fuels will be needed, based on renewable sources and production methods, to provide low-or even zero-carbon solutions. But there is no clear path yet towards achieving this goal, which will require the development of alternative fuel sources, significant infrastructure investments and technological advances,” shared Mr Sethi.

He spoke on the developmental changes at JNPT to stay at par with the changing times by unleashes the power of newer technologies. “Ports are front runners in the energy transition. Their role in the wider decarbonization agenda cannot be underestimated,” Mr Sethi added.

On carbon footprint, Mr Dasgupta said, “While the potential for cutting the carbon footprint varies from fuel to fuel. It needs to be analysed on a life-cycle basis, the main barrier is the economics associated with each fuel and propulsion means.”


Alternatives to fossil fuels include liquid and gaseous biofuel options as well as hydrogen and hydrogen derivatives such as methanol and ammonia. “Alternative fuel options all have different advantages and disadvantages, and there is no consensus on which option is best. They are not yet economically competitive. As their adoption grows and technology improves, however, they are expected to become competitive in the medium to long term,” Mr Dasgupta articulated.

The strategy of India’s dozen major ports which now run fully on renewable energy to cut costs and reduce emissions and facilitate shore-power supply to visiting vessels was deliberated.

The panel discussion provided an insight and shared suggestions on the challenges and their probable solutions on successful use of renewables in inland water transport - RoRo Vessels, ferries.

The webinar concluded with the thought rightly shared by Mr Singh, price and availability will likely be decisive in determining the choice of fuel, with other factors including infrastructural adaptation costs and technological maturity. While there has been increased interest in the use of liquefied natural gas (LNG) as a shipping fuel, some industry participants view this as a temporary and bridging solution. Thus if shipping sector needs to reduce its carbon footprint, it has to do so by improving vessel design to reduce fuel consumption and being more energy-efficient.


(Courtesy: Marex Media)

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