Chennai port plans new barge facility for bunkering

T. E. Raja Simhan Chennai | Updated on January 13, 2012 Published on January 13, 2012



A new barge facility is planned inside the Chennai port to meet the increase in demand for bunkering - fuel oil used aboard ships.

The Chennai Port Trust plans to develop a barge handling facility at a cost of Rs 26 crore in Bharathi Dock through public-private partnership.

This will be on a design, build, finance, operate and transfer basis and the developer will be selected based on the highest revenue share.

The port handled about 61 million tonnes of cargo in the year 2010-11.

Vessel traffic

The vessel traffic has been growing steadily over the past five years – from a handling of 2059 in 2006-07 to 2,181 vessels last year. The need for barge facility is also due to the increasing vessel movements and vessel size.

Bunkering at the port is currently carried out through the barge jetty in the extreme northern end of Bharathi Dock. This is a 30 metre temporary facility with a draft of 2.5- 3.0 metre.

This jetty is used exclusively by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd for bunkering of Navy, Coast Guard, bulk carriers and container ships - both coastal and foreign ships.

The demand for bunker has outpaced the supply of infrastructure needed for bunkering.

Capacity expansion

This has necessitated the need to augmenting the bunkering capacity. The proposed length of the jetty will be three times the length of the present facility. The jetty could accommodate barges with carrying capacity of 1,000 tonne to 3,000 tonne, said the Chennai Port Trust, which has asked private players to participate in request for qualification process.

Furnace oil 380 CST for bunkers is the preferred fuel in the main engine of the vessels operated by many ship-liners, and the demand for the fuel has been encouraging. Indian Oil Corporation Ltd and its subsidiary the Chennai Petroleum Corporation Ltd are seen as major contributors to the traffic for the proposed barge handling facility.

In addition to bunkering fuel and edible oil, other cargoes that are envisaged to be handled at the proposed facility include vegetable oil (crude and refined), furnace oil and molasses, says the RFQ proposal.

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Published on January 13, 2012
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