KOCHI: The second International Bunker Conference, organised by the Cochin Port Trust, discussed various matters related to increasing the bunker business in India. Petronet LNG Ltd managing director and CEO A K Balyan delivered a detailed lecture on ‘LNG Bunkering’, highlighting its potential as the fuel of future.
Petronet has yet again catapulted Kochi into a pioneer in LNG bunkering, not just in India but in the South East Asian region.
Representing the bunker buyers, Shipping Corporation of India director Captain B B Sinha shared his international experiences, and stated that Kochi could replicate the global standards of efficiency.
Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) former director S C Meshram spoke about the IOC’s plan to increase volumes across the Indian ports. Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd executive director H C Mehta and Bharath Petroleum Corporation Ltd executive director Prasad Panikar outlined various strategies for the growth of bunkering at the Kochi Port. Cochin Port Trust chairman Paul Antony said that Kochi had a single window operation for bunkering, where the growth is expected to exceed 20 per cent in the coming year.
Customs and Central Excise Commissioner Raghavan said that the Kochi unit of the Customs had a 24-hour facility to grant bunker permission, and to support the other required supplies to vessels, along with bunkers.
This gives Kochi a competitive advantage, at par with international terminals.
Viswalab, Singapore, sr vice-president Muraleedharan, Maritimus Consulting Pvt Ltd sr consultant Deepak Benny, Indian Oil Corporation, Kolkata, chief manager Himanshu Rajan, Chemoil Adani general manager Manoj Tandon and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd chief manager Ashish Khanna presented papers on the various subjects related to bunkers. The conference pointed out that India, which is presently doing a bunker business of 1.5 million tonnes, has the potential to do upto 7 million tonnes in the next five years’.
Kochi has a large potential to develop offshore bunkering, ie providing bunkers to ships passing through international routes near Kochi.
For this, it has to develop good infrastructure (barge jetties and storage tanks) and a good fleet of barges to continue supply even during the monsoon.