Sri Lanka will step into hydrogen fuel era shortly. Accordingly, the entry will be through small scale SME sector rather than large scale motor transport.
According to the UNIDO National Director for Sri Lanka Nawaz Rajabdeen, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) is planning the pilot project in Galle where hydrogen powered three wheelers supported by a mini hydrogen filling station will show how to implement this new technology in the country.
Rajabdeen announced this in the aftermath of his discussion with Vittorio Coco; the Consultant and Adviser of Sri Lanka’s first Hydrogen powered pilot project which is set to test hydrogen powered three wheelers (tuk-tuks) in Galle Fort.
The one year long pilot project in Sri Lanka is modeled on ‘HyAlfa’, the world’s first hydrogen powered three wheeler unveiled in India in January 2012 by Mahindra & Mahindra. At mass production levels, the hydrogen powered Indian tuk-tuks are estimated to cost only 12% in comparison to standard three wheelers used there. Mahindra’s HyAlfa’s report 80 Km mileage for just one Kilogram of hydrogen.
“UNIDO is also planning to bring down Indian experts at the official announcement in Colombo in mid-June” Nawabdeen revealed.
“We want the hydrogen implementation to be in combination with existing renewable energy used in the country, and we will not abandon existing renewable energy sources at all” revealed Vittorio Coco.
The Sri Lanka pilot project will use 15 hydrogen powered zero emission three wheelers in Galle Fort and monitor them carefully for their pollutant free runs. It is slated as a private public partnership venture in which the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, UNIDO, three wheeler drivers’ associations, environment and pro-green organisations, local three wheeler assemblers (such as David Pieris Motor Company which assembles Bajaj 3 Wheelers in Hambanthota), importers, and line Ministries of energy and environment.
“The most important outcome from the Galle test will be the understanding we will gain as to how to use hydrogen fuel across Sri Lanka’s small scale and SME transport sector which will then be expanded to the transports sector including motor transport and fishing boats” said Vittorio Coco. “Also, existing three wheelers will not need to be re-manufactured but only needs simple alterations to the engine and fuel tank” he added.