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Import Substitute, Cost Effective and Pollution Free Fuel is Our Top Priority: Mr. Nitin Gadkari


Ethics, economy, ecology and environment, these are the things very crucial for the development of our country. The economy is growing and with that the issue related to ecology and environment are surfacing. Mr. Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport and Highways and Shipping addressed the maritime industry on the ‘Green Ports & Oil Spill Management’ organized on 30th May at The Shipping Corporation of India at Mumbai, where Mr. Gadkari graced the event as the chief guest.

The talk initially highlighted the urgency for more environmentally and cost friendly actions, “What we can do for protection of ecology and environment in our ports is very important. Our country imports 5-7 lakh crore rupees of crude oil, which is a burden on our economy. Oil import is continuously increasing. In the global oil market, producers of the oil regulate the production to exploit countries like ours. Even now, India’s self-sufficiency is doubted. Today, we have a power surplus and coal surplus making import substitute cost effective and pollution free, with indigenous technology and with Make in India initiative, we can make everything in India. This needs strong political will and appropriate vision.”

This was followed by a number of solutions looked into and implemented by the Government;

“We can plan a hybrid project of solar and wind energy as it will work out to be very economical. We have 12 major ports and can offer this idea to 200 non-major ports. Together if all ports develop 2000 MW Power plan, there can be a power purchase agreement for national grid with NTPC. This year we made a profit of 5,000 crore rupees and with power this profit can increase to additional 600- 700 crore. This is a simple and cost-effective proposal.

Solar panels can be installed on Godowns and roof top of cruise terminals, which could generate a lot of power. No additional land will be required for this. With these initiatives, we can generate substantial power capacity.


We are planning 14 industrial clusters in the Sagarmala project. There will be huge power requirement for running these clusters. If we purchase the power from state governments it will work out very expensive. In port sector, we have to anticipate what will be the energy requirement and accordingly build the power capacity, so the port sector can be self-sufficient and excess power generated can be sold to NTPC. We are expecting an investment of 12 lakh crore in the Sagarmala project. This will create huge job opportunities. If the port sector can be self-sufficient in terms of power generation and consumption, it will be a great contribution towards the country.

Apart from that, we have decided that Import substitute, cost effective and pollution free fuel should be selected. For this, ethanol, bio diesel, CNG, electric and LNG, are options important to consider. CNG is a very cost effective and clean fuel. And for ships, we shall consider LNG as fuel. It will reduce the cost and speed can also be increased as the calorific value is more. It is our priority -to focus on how to use LNG in port sector.

Today, our logistics cost is 18%, where as China’s logistics cost is between 10-12 %.  If we develop inland waterways and coastal shipping, our logistics costs will be reduced to 12%, exports will increase to 1.5 times and MAKE IN INDIA dream will become a reality. This will be the biggest growth engine to our economy.

To make this a possibility, in river Ganga, we are going to develop 40 ports and 3 multimodal hubs. In Brahmaputra, we are making 60 river ports. The work has already started in Ganga and Brahmaputra river under the development of 111 national waterways. We are planning to develop waterways starting from Varanasi to Myanmar, which will also require dredging.”


Concluding, following are some other initiatives undertaken and areas to focus on;

  • All the ports are advised to use 20% bio diesel, which will reduce the pollution.
  • If we use buses on electricity, this will reduce the cost of the ticket by half.
  • The Cochin Shipyard has been asked to prepare electric engines for smaller vessels.
  • Every port should recycle waste water. We must ensure that not even a drop of dirty water is released into the sea in any of our ports. In the times to come, technology is continuously upgrading in Green Port.
  • LNG as bunker should be promoted in all India major ports.
  • Dual engines for ships which can use LNG as well as Diesel should be encouraged.

Source: Kavita Mishra & Capt. Virendra Mishra/ TST Newsdesk

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