Sri Lanka is laying the foundation for a sustainable and eco-friendly future. The focus is on harnessing the potential of green hydrogen and green ammonia to not only reduce emissions but also to bolster the capabilities of the bustling Colombo Port, a strategic hub in the region.
The maritime landscape is changing, with vessel owners worldwide increasingly investing in green technologies to curb emissions and meet sustainability targets. In response to this global shift, Sri Lanka’s Port and Shipping Minister, Nimal Siripala de Silva, emphasized the need for Colombo Port to align with these prevailing trends.
Speaking at the Annual General Meeting of the Sri Lanka Association of Vessel Operators (SLAVO), Minister de Silva underlined the pivotal role of green hydrogen, green ammonia, and enhanced connectivity in this transformative journey. He stated, “While Sri Lanka’s economy may not be as extensive as others, we must align with these global trends and deliver accordingly.”
Green hydrogen and green ammonia have emerged as cornerstones of the maritime industry’s sustainable future. Green hydrogen is produced using renewable energy sources and is integral to eco-friendly vessel operations. Green ammonia, another promising development, serves as an energy carrier for zero-emission shipping, marking a significant leap forward in the industry’s decarbonization efforts.
However, the transformation doesn’t come without its share of challenges. To realize the production of green hydrogen and green ammonia in the Port of Colombo, attracting the necessary investments is imperative. Minister de Silva has already initiated discussions and reached out to institutions to gather expertise in this regard.
He further stressed the importance of nurturing a new generation of maritime professionals and enacting pragmatic policies to attract foreign and private investors for port development. One key shift in the government’s approach is the intention to transform the East Container Terminal into a more private-sector-oriented facility, with the state focusing primarily on administrative aspects.
Recognizing the anticipated growth in the maritime sector, de Silva unveiled an ambitious vision, the North Port Development Project, which envisions the establishment of four to six new terminals, all managed by the private sector to draw additional investment.
Crucial to the success of these plans is the implementation of a Port Community System in the Port of Colombo, which de Silva views as a necessity for efficient operations. Steps are already underway to address this need, and expressions of interest will soon be sought from reputable organizations to move this vision forward.
As Sri Lanka embarks on this maritime transformation, the convergence of green hydrogen and green ammonia with the development of Colombo Port is poised to set the stage for a greener, more competitive, and sustainable future in the maritime sector.