Current context: 

India’s Prime Minister, officially launched India’s first hydrogen fuel cell ferry boat in virtual mode on February 28.

About current context:

  • The vessel has been built at the Cochin Shipyard.
  • The vessel flagged off during a significant event in Thoothukudi, Tamil Nadu, marking the foundation stone for a ₹17,300-crore project.
  • India has successfully launched its first hydrogen fuel cell ferry, marking a significant milestone in clean energy technology.

The Vessel: A Marvel of Innovation

  • Name: The pilot vessel, built at the Cochin Shipyard, is a 24-meter catamaran.
  • Passenger Capacity: It can comfortably accommodate 50 passengers in a fully air-conditioned space.
  • Purpose: Designed to enhance urban mobility, this ferry promises a smooth and eco-friendly travel experience.

Key Features:

  • Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology: The heart of this vessel lies in its hydrogen fuel cell system. Unlike conventional diesel engines, which emit harmful pollutants, the fuel cell generates electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen, producing only water vapor as a byproduct.
  • Fully Indigenous: The vessel proudly showcases home-grown technology. Its development signifies India’s commitment to embracing clean energy solutions and aligning with global net-zero goals.
  • Replicability: The success of this project opens doors for similar initiatives across the country. As other regions explore alternatives, this technology can be replicated to enhance urban mobility nationwide.

The Green Hydrogen Hub:

  • The V.O. Chidambaranar Port in Thoothukudi plays a pivotal role in India’s green energy transition.

It is the first Green Hydrogen Hub Port in the country, housing projects such as:

  • Desalination Plant: Providing fresh water through sustainable means.
  • Hydrogen Production Facility: Generating clean hydrogen for various applications.
  • Bunkering Facility: Enabling hydrogen-powered vessels to refuel efficiently.
  • A Gift from Tamil Nadu to Kashi

Future Prospects:

  • The electrification and expansion of rail lines will enhance connectivity between South Tamil Nadu and Kerala, easing congestion and promoting efficient transportation.
  • India’s journey toward sustainable mobility has just begun. The hydrogen fuel cell ferry sets the stage for more innovations and cleaner transportation options.


India’s first indigenous hydrogen fuel cell ferry represents not only a technological achievement but also a step toward a greener, more sustainable future. As we sail into uncharted waters, let this vessel inspire us to explore cleaner horizons and protect our planet for generations to come. 

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