PM lays foundation stone of India’s first green hydrogen project at Leh

Mohinder Verma
JAMMU, July 30: In a major step towards de-carbonization of mobility sector in the Union Territory of Ladakh, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today laid the foundation stone of India’s first public use green hydrogen mobility project at Leh, which will be set-up by National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC) within next one and half year.
In the month of July last year, the NTPC had signed Memorandum of Undertaking (MoU) with the Union Territory of Ladakh for setting up of first green hydrogen mobility project in the region and to help the administration develop a carbon free economy based on renewable sources and green hydrogen.
With the laying of foundation stone by the Prime Minister, the execution of the project will begin in the shortest possible time as NTPC has already floated the tender for setting up of a solar plant and green hydrogen generation unit. This project is in line with the Prime Minister’s vision of a carbon neutral Ladakh.
“NTPC has planned to ply around five-six hydrogen buses to start with and the company will be setting up a solar plant and a green hydrogen generation unit in the outskirts of Leh towards this end”, sources in the Ladakh administration told EXCELSIOR, adding “this step will put Leh as the first city in the country to implement a green hydrogen based mobility project and this would be zero emission mobility in true sense”.
They further said that each hydrogen filled bus will cover a distance of 150 kilometers as such initially all the buses will be operated in and around Leh and based on the success of these buses NTPC will plan about establishment of such projects in other parts of Ladakh Union Territory.
The foundation stone of the project was laid by Prime Minister online in the presence of Union Minister of Power and New and Renewable Energy R K Singh, Minister of State Krishan Pal Gurjar, Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh R K Mathur, Chairman and Chief Executive Councilor of Ladakh Autonomous Hill Development Council Tashi Gyalson and Member of Parliament Jamyang Tsering Namgyal.
The requirement of renewable energy for the project shall be met by solar PV project (1.70 MW) adjacent to the Hydrogen Fuelling Station (80 kg/day). The hydrogen generation plant and dispensation unit have been sized suitably to meet the requirements of Fuel Cell Electric Vehicles (FCEVs).
“NTPC has been aggressively pushing for greening its portfolio and green hydrogen project is another step towards achieving low carbon footprint”, sources said, adding “NTPC has also been promoting usage of green hydrogen based solutions in sectors like mobility, energy, chemical, fertilizer, steel etc. Recently, it has revised its target of achieving 60GW renewable capacity by 2032, almost doubling the earlier target”.
“The project in Leh would be a starter for further de-carbonization of mobility sector in Ladakh and subsequently for the whole country”, sources said, adding “such types of projects shall not only pave the way for India’s de-carbonization goals but shall also bring new hope for emergence of self-sufficiency for the future”.
Speaking on the occasion, CEC LAHDC Leh, Tashi Gyalson highlighted various green energy initiatives signed with different agencies such as ONGC and SECI. He shared that these projects would greatly benefit Ladakh in achieving a net zero emission and carbon neutrality charting a course of sustainable development with environmental sensitivity.
MP Ladakh said that under the leadership of the Prime Minister, the Government has taken multiple path-breaking initiatives in the power sector. He hoped that in Ladakh no house would be left without electricity by 2024. He further added that these projects would not only pave the way for Ladakh’s de-carbonization goals but it would also bring a new hope for emerging as a self- sufficient power sector accomplishing the target of Carbon Neutral Ladakh as envisioned by PM.
It is pertinent to mention here that in the UT of Ladakh, under Revamped Distribution Sector Scheme (RDSS), projects of total DPR cost of Rs 1172.12 crore has been proposed under which Rs 144.60 crore is proposed for loss reduction works, Rs 627.64 crore has been proposed for electrification of Changthang region, Rs 58.50 crore has been proposed for works in Zanskar Region.
In Modernization/System Strengthening component works worth Rs 341.47 crore has been proposed in the UT of Ladakh. Moreover, UT Ladakh envisages to gradually reduce the AT&C losses from 48.17% in the base year 2020-21 to 27.85% by 2024-25.