Sri Lankaâ€™s China run Hambantota International Port (HIP) recently awarded a tender to Beijing-based Sinopec to operate and maintain the portâ€™s oil tank terminal, along with associated facilities, as part of its efforts to become a strategic regional bunkering centre, the Maritime Standard (TMS), which is based in Dubai, that publishes a regular e-newsletter aimed specifically at the shipping and maritime community recently outlined.
The report said that it is expected that, as a result of the agreement, the tank storage facility in the Sri Lankan port will this year start to provide high grades of marine fuels compliant with the IMO 2020 low Sulphur guidelines.
â€œThe partnership with Sinopec, which is one of the largest providers of bunkers worldwide, underlines our goal of becoming a bunkering hub for the entire region. Plans are already in the pipeline to expand our tank capacity in the near futureâ€ Ray Ren, Chief Executive of HIP had said.
HIPG had stated that 23 interested parties from Singapore, China, India, Dubai and Sri Lanka, purchased tender documents and participated in the pre-bid meeting.
Report further said that Sinopec is said to have been awarded the tender on the basis of its global network and terminal operations experience.
â€œDue to their global networking strength, Sinopec will be in a position to offer competitive pricing, opening doors for local parties hoping to provide bunkering services,â€ Ray Ren had said adding that they plan to expand the portâ€™s capacity over the next five years, bringing us closer to their goal of establishing the port as a regional bunkering hub.
– Reporting by Devendra Francis