Bhubaneswar: The All India Seminar on ‘Natural Gas in Coastal and Inland Shipping’ organised by the Forum for River and Ocean Scientists and Technologists (FROST) and Institute of engineers (India), Odisha State Centre and supported by DRDO and OCEAN SPARKLE having the largest fleet of coastal ships, was inaugurated today at the Institution of Engineers (India) building. Shri Atanu K. Mukherjee, renowned marine engineer and Chairman of the Marine Engineering Division of IE(I) inaugurated the event which was presided over by Professor —Parhi, President of the IE(I), Odisha state centre. Professor S. C. Misra, Chairman of Naval Research Board and President of FROST explained the objective of the seminar.
Speaking on this occasion, Mr. A. K. Mukherjee said, “use of natural gas in power generation, power utility and for propulsion purposes is going prevalence in Europe, China and India could easily jump into the bandwagon. The initiative is to give the momentum to activity of storage, transportation and utility of gas on the Odisha coast and hinterland”.
India has more than 5400 km of coast line in peninsular India and more than 2100 km of coast line around the islands and 4500km of navigable waterways. With demand for natural gas increasing rapidly in the country for road transport, energy generation and other industrial uses, it has become imperative to move natural gas along the coast and also in the rivers. The Government as well as the private sector are investing large amount of funds in building LNG storage, retrieval and re-liquefaction plants along the Indian coast. An LNG infrastructure facility is planned to come up in the Port city of Dhamra in Odisha. Seafarers’ association of Odisha (SAO) was also actively involved in the seminar and has all were withal in terms of manpower resources, technical acumen and logistics expertise. The present seminar aims at generation and dissemination of knowledge base and increasing awareness with regard to natural gas transportation and its use as a fuel in ships moving in coastal and inland vessels.
The seminar has many distinguished guest speakers who include Professors R P Gokarn, S K Sarangi and A E Kishor, professionals such as Shri A Ganguly, Capt Subhedar, Capt B Mahapatra, Capt I V Solanki and Shri J Dasgupta. The speakers are to cover areas of installation facilities, ships and barges, logistics of LNG carriage and design issues over the two days.
India has embarked on a massive development of liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal facilities along the coast investing an amount of Rs 25000 to Rs50000 crores in last few years and projected for the next few years. The terminal facilities are coming up in Gujarat (Mundra port in Gulf of Katchch, Dahej and Hazira), Maharastra (Dabhol and Jaigarh), Kerala (Kochi), Tamilnadu (Ennore), Andhra Pradesh (Kakinada), Odisha (Dhamra) and West Bengal (Haldia). The facilities planned are varied type including floating and port based facilities for storage, regassification and transportation. It is well known that LNG burning for power generation in ship propulsion reduces carbon footprint compared to liquid or solid fossil fuels. Natural gas needs to be transported along the coast and perhaps to hinterland through integrated transportation system consisting of ships, barges, railways, roadways and pipelines. It is the objective of the present seminar to highlight the developments that are taking place to the larger technical community and also the problems and weaknesses in natural gas related issues to find suitable solutions.
This seminar is the forerunner to greater technical cooperation, research, development of skills in specific institutions and also focus on appropriate manpower development to ensure ODISHA takes a head start in energy conservation, diversity in energy utilisation and thus achieve its environmental objectives.