Port Wings News Network:
Chennai Port, which is located strategically on the East Coast close to the “International Mainline Vessel Routes” and also part of the coastal cargo routes along East Coast of India, is aiming to become a major Bunkering Hub in India.
Presently, a small 30 Metre facility at Bharathi Dock of the Port operated by IOCL serves Bunker fuels to ships calling at the Port and at the Outer Anchorage to International vessels passing the Chennai Coast through barges.
Considering the potential for growth in volume of Bunker fuels and the fact that the introduction of GST has provided a level playing field for all Indian Ports in the Bunker Sector,the Port has formulated a proposal for developing a 181 Metre long and 15Metre wide berth as a multi-user facility near the Oil dock which can handle two 5000 DWT medium size Barges or Tanker of up to 10000 DWT for handling other liquid cargoes including edible oils.
The berth will be connected to the Shore through a trestle for carrying pipelines for bunker fuels and other liquid cargoes. The pipelines will lead to a common user tankfarm for bunker fuel and other liquid cargoes to be developed on land close to the Terminal.
After assessing the potential of the project, the Ministry of Shipping has also provided a grant of Rs.22 Crore under SAGARMALA Programme.
The proposed Bunkering terminal is expected to be a viable proposition considering the demand for different grades of Bunker fuels for ships calling at the new Government and Private Ports like Kamarajar Port, Kattupalli Port and Krishnapatnam Port which have developed in the vicinity of the Chennai Port.
As an in-house project, for constructing Bunkering Terminal, the Contract Agreement has already been executed with M/s. Geo Tech Threekay (JV) at a value of Rs.37.46 crores and the work has also commenced. The Terminal which will become operational in September, 2019 can handle 1 MTPA of liquid cargoes especially bunker fuel and is poised to compete with major International Players like Colombo, Singapore and Fujairah.