Bunkering vessel Mt. Melody docked at the Hambantota International Port (HIP) last week to discharge approximately 25,000 MT of oil into the port’s newly furbished tanks.
With the first shipment of Very Low Sulphur Fuel Oil (VLSFO) 380 CST in their tanks, HIP will soon begin bunkering for ships that call at the port, providing support to the heavily impacted international supply chain.
Over 31,000 vessels ply the main sea route that lies just 10 nautical miles from the port every year. HIP with its proximity to the route that connects the East, and the West is in an ideal position to provide these vessels with bunkering services, helping them take maximum advantage of the port’s unique location, HIP said in a media release.
Bunkering is an important part of the energy services portfolio offered by HIP. “The port invested in refurbishing the tank farm to Lloyds classification standards and the tank farm facility will be operated and managed by Sinopec, a leading global operator, who will train our local staff up to international standards in safety and operation. The facility has a fully-fledged oil testing laboratory at the site. HIP aims to become the bunkering hub of the region and will work with Sinopec and the local bunker suppliers in making this a reality,” says Tissa Wickramasinghe, COO of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG).
This is another step by HIP in achieving its goal of becoming an energy hub. In October 2018, the port partnered with LAUGFS Gas, a pioneer in Sri Lanka’s power and energy sector, to service their storage and transshipment requirements of LPG. Transshipment of LPG is a part of the energy hub mix at HIP, and many vessels called at the port for transshipment, during the past year.