India plans green hydrogen pilot projects in shipping and steel

India has laid out plans to undertake pilot projects to use green hydrogen in the shipping and steel sectors, at a combined cost of Rs. 570 crores ($68.6m).

Both schemes, revealed by the Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE), will see the pilot projects replace fossil fuels with green hydrogen and its derivatives.

The steel sector programme will look at using hydrogen in direct reduced ironmaking (DRI) processes, blast furnaces, and the substation of fossil fuels with green hydrogen in a “gradual manner.”

Taking into account higher green hydrogen costs, the MNRE has said steel plants could begin blending a small percentage of the energy carrier into processes, before increasing the volume as costs fall.

With a budget of Rs. 455 crores ($54.8m) until FY 2029-30, the pilot projects are intended to lead to the development of infrastructure to use hydrogen in the iron and steel industry.

For shipping, the Ministry is offering Rs. 115 crores ($18.6m) until FY 2025-26 for pilot projects that will retrofit existing ships with green hydrogen propulsion systems, as well as the development of bunkering and refuelling facilities in ports on international shipping lanes.

Similar to the steel plans, the government hopes the projects will develop infrastructure including refuelling stations, storage and distribution networks to facilitate the use of green hydrogen in shipping.

Both schemes come as part of the country’s National Green Hydrogen Mission. Planned to deliver Rs. 19,744 crores ($2.3bn) until FY 2029-30, the mission hopes to decarbonise the India economy, reduce fossil fuel imports and establish the country as a green hydrogen leader.

Read more: India approves $2bn incentive plan to boost green hydrogen

In January (2024), the India hydrogen Alliance (IH2A) submitted a proposal to increase budgetary support for the National Green Hydrogen Mission to $5bn.

Read more: IH2A submits $5bn hydrogen fund proposal to Indian Government

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