VOC Port allocates ACME land for Rs 52,474 Cr green hydrogen plant

VO Chidambaranar Port Authority, the state-owned company operating Thoothukudi Port in Tamil Nadu, has issued a letter of intent to ACME Cleantech Solutions Pvt Ltd to lease 222.79 acres of port land for the construction of a green hydrogen and green ammonia project with an investment of Rs 52,474 crore.

Port of VO Chidambaranar is the first port in India to make land available for green hydrogen production and export. According to government sources, the land will be leased for 30 years at an annual rent set by the Port Authority.

The VOC Port Authority has also leased 10 hectares of land to ReNew Power Ltd for the storage and export of green hydrogen and ammonia.

The ACME plant will produce 3,000 tons of hydrogen per day. ACME and ReNew Power were among 25 companies that responded to an expression of interest from the VOC Port Authority to set up green hydrogen and green ammonia projects on port campuses.

“This is one of the VOC Port Authority’s initiatives to develop a complete green hydrogen ecosystem for industry and become India’s green hydrogen export hub,” a government official said.

As the 24/7 availability of sufficient renewable energy is crucial for the production of green hydrogen, the Port Authority has also built a 5MW solar plant, a 2MW wind farm, a 60MW hybrid wind-solar plant, a mega offshore wind farm and a desalination plant under public-private partnership (PPP) mode to support the project, the official said.

The Port Authority is also in talks with state-owned companies such as Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and NTPC Ltd to realize their green hydrogen ambitions, the official added.

VOC Port is one of the two major ports (alongside Deendayal Port in Kandla, Gujarat) designated by the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways to house green hydrogen and green ammonia facilities in the country.

The ACME facility will be one of the largest in India and potentially the largest in the world.

The plant will produce green hydrogen and ammonia, which will help decarbonize sectors such as fertilizer, energy, refining and steel, among others.

The project includes 5,000 MW solar PV system, 1.5 GW electrolyzer and 1.1 million tons of ammonia synthesis cycle.

Green hydrogen is created by splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen using electrolysers. The electrolysis itself is powered by energy from renewable resources such as wind and sun.

ACME aims to become one of the world’s leading green energy suppliers by 2030, producing 10 million tons of green ammonia and hydrogen annually, the Gurugram-based company said on its website.

ACME said it has begun working with various governments, partners and stakeholders to develop projects in Oman, India, Egypt, Australia and Chile.

“We are committed to creating sustainability in some of the most difficult sectors to decarbonize, such as food, agriculture, steel, shipping, cement and aluminum,” the company said.

ACME has set up the world’s first integrated green hydrogen and green ammonia pilot project at Bikaner in Rajasthan. Green hydrogen is produced with 5 MW of power from the solar system, scalable to 10 MW. The plant will help save around 4,400 tons of CO2 emissions annually.

ACME is also building a world green hydrogen and green ammonia project in the special economic zone in Duqm, Oman with an investment of about US$5-6 billion. The aim of the plant is to export green ammonia to demand centers in Europe and Asia.

The first phase of the plant is expected to produce 100,000 tons of green ammonia per year and will be expanded to 1.2 million tons per year with an electrolyser capacity of about 3.5 GW powered by a 5.5 GW solar PV array.

The Company has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Karnataka
The government is investing around 52,000 crore in the state to set up a green hydrogen and green ammonia project. A MoU has also been signed with the Odisha government for a project in the state.

India has set a target of producing 5 million tons of green hydrogen per year by 2030 to strengthen the country’s energy security while also helping to reduce about 50 million tons of carbon emissions and save more than US$12 billion in fossil fuel imports.

Most of the 5 million tons of hydrogen consumed in the country is produced using fossil fuels.

In January, the government approved an incentive plan to promote green hydrogen, which aims to cover at least 10 percent of production costs.

The government has also waived interstate transmission fees for hydrogen production plants commissioned before June 2025.

India’s distinct advantage in low-cost renewable energy generation makes green hydrogen the most competitive form of hydrogen over the long term, according to a 2022 report by NITI Aayog and RMI on Harnessing Green Hydrogen.

“This makes India potentially one of the most competitive green hydrogen producers in the world. Green hydrogen can reach cost parity with natural gas-based hydrogen (grey hydrogen) by 2030 at the latest. Cost aside, green hydrogen is necessary to achieve a truly low-carbon economy, as hydrogen is only as clean as its source of generation. It will also enable the emergence of a domestically produced energy carrier that can reduce dependency on imports for key commodities such as natural gas and oil,” the report said.

Hydrogen demand in India could more than quadruple by 2050, accounting for nearly 10 percent of global hydrogen demand.

Based on price parity alone, the share of green hydrogen in this demand could increase from 16 percent in 2030 to almost 94 percent in 2050. This equates to an implied cumulative demand for electrolyzer capacity of 20 GW by 2030 and 226 GW by 2050, promising a significant opportunity for domestic manufacturing of a globally emerging energy technology.

The cumulative value of the green hydrogen market in India could reach US$8 billion by 2030 and US$340 billion by 2050. The market size for electrolysers could be about $5 billion by 2030 and $31 billion by 2050.

The introduction of green hydrogen will also result in cumulative CO2 emissions of 3.6 gigatonnes
Reductions between 2020 and 2050. Energy import savings from green hydrogen can range from $246 billion to $358 billion over the same period. Beyond the financial savings, the energy security offered by green hydrogen will lead to less volatile pricing factors for India’s industries and strengthen India’s foreign exchange position in the long run, the report added.

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