ECONOMYNEXT – A global player in the bunkering business will be selected soon to supply ship fuel at Sri Lanka’s Hambantota port, with its Chinese operator in the landlord role, a senior company official said.
Tissa Wickramasinghe, Chief Operating Officer of Hambantota International Port Group (HPIG) (Pvt) Ltd., said a key driver of the port’s growth will be its bunkering tank farm.
Six global bunker players had picked up the tender document when HPIG called for expressions of interest, he told a forum held by the Asia Securities brokerage where its new study on the logistics sector was presented.
Tenders closed at the end of 2018.
“We will select a global player to run the tank farm and we will be playing the landlord role,” Wickramasinghe said.
Although China’s CM Port, which controls HPIG took over the port in December 2017 it was only in July last year it took over the bunkering tank farm.
“We have a foreign team mobilising it at the moment because it has not been operational for over two years and there are a lot of safety rules that need to be met,” Wickramasinghe said.
“Until the bunker tanks get going we will not see big growth in the business.”
Wickramasinghe has said Hambantota has potential in supplying ship fuel given its location halfway between Singapore and Fujairah, two of the world’s number biggest bunkering ports. (Colombo/January 07/2019)