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News Bulletin : February 2022 – Issue 1


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1. Brexit funds of €35m to be directed to coastal communities to improve piers and harbours

European Brexit funds worth €35 million are to be directed to port and coastal communities to improve publicly-owned piers and harbours.

The fund, which will be administered by the Department of Agriculture, will be paid out of the EU’s Brexit Adjustment Reserve (BAR) fund. It will be targeted at rejuvenating public piers and harbours in coastal communities, the department said.

The establishment of the fund was one of the recommendations of a seafood sector taskforce established after Brexit by Minister for Agriculture Charlie McConalogue. The taskforce had proposed a fund of €80 million across five years for the development of publicly-owned marine infrastructure.

Source: Irish Times

2. Budget 2022: SEZ likely to get infrastructure status

The upcoming Budget is likely to revamp the Special Economic Zones Act, 2005, in a major push to boost the sector. Sources told Business Today TV that the government is likely to give infrastructure status to Special Economic Zones which will enable these projects to avail benefits like lower borrowing rates, tax concessions, and increased flow of foreign and private capital.

Moreover, Special Economic Zones (SEZ) would be in a position to accept payment in rupee.

Source: Business Today

3. Budget’s balancing act on growth and fiscal consolidation

The upcoming Budget will be the second one to be presented amidst the covid-19 pandemic. In these fragile and uncertain times, it is expected that Union Budget 2022–23 would provide the necessary thrust towards economic revival and sustained growth for businesses, with a view towards achieving an ambitious gross domestic product (GDP) growth rate.

Source: Live Mint

4. Bihar’s first floating solar power plant now ready for commissioning

Floating solar power involves installing solar panels on floating structures on a water body, such as a lake or in a hydro power reservoir. One of the prime advantages of such a structure is no land consumption, except the surfaces required for grid connections.

Bihar Renewable Energy Development Agency (BREDA) is set to commission the state’s first two MW floating solar power plant in the Kadirabad locality of Darbhanga district. The Darbhanga power station plant will be the first-of-a-kind in Bihar, which is being built over a pond. It is believed to be a huge achievement for the state.

Source: The Logical Indian

5. National masterplan portal to be ready by end of March

The Gati Shakti programme announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year envisages a digital platform for a national masterplan of infrastructure projects in the country which will be ready by March 31, 2022, according to a senior government official.

“All infrastructure projects will be mapped on the national masterplan [portal]. 75% of data from Central ministries on their infrastructure projects have already been uploaded. We are now training State governments to share their data. We are hopeful that the national masterplan [portal] will be ready by March-end,” Amrit Lal Meena, Special Secretary, Department for Promotion of Investment and Internal Trade told The Hindu.

Source: The Hindu

6. Indian Register of Shipping strengthens focus on safety of inland waterways

Indian Register of Shipping is forging ahead with a drive to enhance inland vessel safety throughout India to aid the country’s economic growth. It played an integral role in the drafting of the Inland Vessels Act 2021 which was passed by the Indian parliament.

Based on new IV Act 2021, IRS has drafted ten different rules in consultation with Ministries, State Governments, and various other stake holders. The draft Rules and Regulations for Construction and Classification of Inland Waterways Ships are ship type specific to ensure safety of cargo, assets, environment. The draft Rules cover requirements for Passenger vessels, including Ro-Ro & Ro-Pax, tankers, gas carriers and dry cargo vessels. The rules also cover aspects of insurance, wreck & salvage, limitation of liabilities and other administrative provisions.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

7. Budget 2022: Implement National Logistics Policy to ease supply chain bottlenecks

The buzz around the Union Budget 2022–2023 is getting strong now that the government is expected to sustain India’s economic growth amidst the prevailing third wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

While Q1 of FY2021-22 was subdued due to the second wave, the economy gradually resuscitated with demand recovery and the resumption of business activities. India’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) registered a growth of 8.4 percent in Q2 (July–September), compared to a 7.4 percent contraction that was reported a year ago.

Source: First Post

8. Scindia takes meeting with Commerce Ministry on kickstarting multi-modal logistics hub

Aviation Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday held a meeting with officials of his ministry and the Commerce Ministry on kickstarting multi-modal logistics hubs in India.

On Tuesday, he said on Twitter that alongside necessary infrastructure, it was equally important to make our cargo movement processes seamless and customer-friendly.

Source: The Print

9. Is Railways on track to draw private capital?

Back in July 2020, for the first time in its 169-year history, the Indian Railways offered 109 routes to private players to operate trains on. It drew just two bidders, one of which was the Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation (IRCTC), majority owned by the government.

In August 2021, the tender process for the trains was put on hold.

Source: Live Mint

10. The world’s largest coal port has switched to renewable energy

Following the approval of a new arrangement between the Australian arm of Spanish energy corporation Iberdrola, Australia and the Port of Newcastle the world’s largest coal seaport is currently powered entirely by renewable energy.

The Port of Newcastle in Australia has established itself as a pioneer in the renewable energy transition, with its operations being wholly powered by renewable energy. Newcastle has agreed to a retail PPA (power purchase agreement) with Iberdrola that would give the port large-scale generating certificates (LGCs) related to 113 MW Bodangora wind facility near Dubbo, NSW (New South Wales).

Source: PV Magazine Australia

11. Shipping and renewable energy bodies join forces to advance global green fuel transition

The International Chamber of Shipping (ICS), representing over 80% of world’s merchant fleet, has signed a Partnership Agreement with the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) to support the decarbonisation of the shipping sector and its role in the transition towards a global energy sector based on renewables.

Signed during a meeting between the heads of the two organisations at the Twelfth Session of IRENA Assembly 2022, the partnership will provide a framework over the next two years for ICS and IRENA to assist with the decarbonisation of the shipping sector and the use of renewable technologies on this key sector of the global economy. It will also enable the industry to work closer with IRENA’s global membership of more than 160 countries and territories on issues related to the increasing role of renewable energy in decarbonising shipping.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News

12. What are the current trends and challenges for the energy sector?

The challenge of data management has become critical for many energy utilities over the last year.

Greenbird’s CEO, Thorsten Heller, reflects on the growing importance that real-time data has on the utilities sector and the ongoing energy transition.

Thorsten also looks at how smart meter data is causing many new challenges and opportunities for today’s utilities.

Source: Smart Energy

13. AP’s fishing ports to get infra boost at Rs 18,000 cr

Industries minister Mekapati Goutham said on Monday that works on three ports and nine fishing harbours will be taken up at a cost of Rs 18,000 crore in Andhra Pradesh.

Taking part in a PM Gati Sakthi programme to explain the national master plan for multimodal connectivity, held virtually by the Union minister for road transport and highways Nitin Gadkari, the state minister said the AP government had been according top priority to providing all basic transport facilities and is exploring new avenues to further the cause.

Source: Deccan Chronicle

14. NGT Asks 100 industrial units in Maharashtra to pay Rs 186 crore compensation for water pollution

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has ordered around 100 industrial units in the Tarapur MIDC area of Maharashtra’s Palghar district to collectively pay around Rs 186 crore as environmental compensation for polluting water bodies in the region by releasing untreated effluents into them. 

In the order passed on January 24, the tribunal also pulled up the Enforcement Directorate (ED) for failing to take action under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA) against the industrial units despite offences like releasing untreated pollutants into water bodies, and said this “inaction” has encouraged them to continue with the violations “with impunity”.

Source: Outlook India

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