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Development Watch – Week #4 March ’23

Development News

5,000 km of waterways to be developed as Eastern Grid

The 2nd Inland Waterways Summit was organized by PhD Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PHDCCI) on March 28. Speaking at the summit, the Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways said that the centre will develop Eastern Grid with 5,000 km of navigable waterways. This would help unlock multi-lateral trade potential of $49 billion. It would deepen eastern India’s trade within BBIN countries (Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal). It would also amplify trade potential with countries such as Myanmar, Thailand, Malaysia & Singapore. The seamless connection would also be made between National Waterway (NW-1) “Ganga”, NW-2 “Brahmaputra” and NW-16 “Barak”. rivers. The 3,500 km economic corridor in the Northeast will be connected to other parts of India via Bangladesh. Multi-modal connections within India would also link Bhutan and Nepal with Bangladesh onto the international trade routes.

Goa-Dubai direct flight by Air India Express

Air India Express is India’s first international budget airline. This week, it commenced operations from Goa International Airport in Dabolim. There are 4 weekly direct flights on Goa-Dubai route. The first flight on Monday took off with 148 passengers on board.

NTPC’s renewable energy subsidiary to supply clean power

NTPC Renewable Energy Ltd. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of NTPC Green Energy. It has signed a term sheet with Greenko ZeroC on March 28, 2023 to supply 1,300 MW round-the-clock RE Power for Greenko’s upcoming green ammonia plant at Kakinada. The agreement between two companies is one of the world’s single largest contract for supply of round-the-clock renewable supply for an industrial client.

Cost of quitting Coal in India is estimated to be $900 billion

In India, it is estimated that cost of quitting coal is $900 billion, according to the International Forum for Environment, Sustainability and Technology (iFOREST). iFOREST has released two reports detailing how much it will cost for India to move away from coal and other polluting fuels without affecting livelihoods of those employed in coal mines and thermal power plants. India depends on coal for 75% of its electricity needs and 55% of overall energy needs. Country’s coal use is expected to peak between 2035 and 2040.

The biggest single investment to enable a just transition will be the cost of setting up clean energy infrastructure. This could be up to $472 billion by 2050. Providing workers with clean energy jobs will cost less than 10% of total amount, or about $9 billion. As per iFOREST, $600 billion would come as investments in new industries and infrastructure. Additional $300 billion as grants and subsidies to support coal industry workers and affected communities.

3rd Ring Road for Delhi

Delhi’s 3rd Ring Road will open in 6 months. It is also known as Urban Extension Road (UER-2). The 6-lane road would be completed by September 2023, as per the recent announcement by NHAI. It will reduce travel time to half between Delhi-Chandigarh and Delhi-Gurgaon Expressways. It will pass through Dwarka, Nangloi, Shyam Vihar and Kanjhawla. UER-2 will be access controlled. It will also help reduce traffic on the outer ring road. Vehicles coming from Jaipur and Delhi can use it as a bypass instead of going through Dhaula Kuan and Ring Road. The project entails a total investment of Rs. 7,700 crores. It is part of the Delhi Decongestion Plan. Links are also planned for Bawana Industrial Area and Bahadurgarh bypass.

Agreement signed for Electrolyzer Manufacturing

L&T has signed an agreement with McPhy Energy for electrolyzer manufacturing. McPhy will grant an exclusive license of its pressurized alkaline electrolyzer technology to L&T. This is for the manufacture of electrolyzers, and future product upgrades. L&T plans to set up a Gigawatt-scale manufacturing facility. The partnership between L&T and McPhy will make use of strong presence in entire value chain of manufacturing, EPC and services in the energy sector. McPhy has strong leadership in the research and technology domain. India is well suited for Green Hydrogen production due to the low generation costs of renewable electricity from abundantly available solar PV and wind power sources. Green hydrogen capacity in India is estimated to grow to at least 5 MMTPA by 2030 in line with nation’s green hydrogen mission, which would call for investments upward of $100 billion.

India’s first cable-stayed Rail Bridge in J&K

India’s first cable-stayed rail bridge on Anji River in Jammu and Kashmir is nearing completion. Deck would be ready by the month of May. The upcoming structure is part of the ambitious Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla-Rail Link (USBRL) project. The last deck portion of the bridge is designed to withstand wind speeds of 213 km per hour. 6 more segments of the bridge are yet to be launched, wherein 41/47 have been completed. Once ready, trains would run at a speed of 100 km ph. However, the trains will be stopped if wind speed goes beyond 90 km ph. Anji bridge between Katra and Reasi station falls in Reasi district of J&K. USBRL PRoject will help connect Kashmir valley to the national rail network.

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