ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Hambantota Port said it has seen a steep increase in oil and gas vessels in 2023 helped by Sinopec’s bunker operations, and is expecting to double throughput in 2024.
More than 300 oil and gas vessels had called at the port up, 132 percent from the crisis year in 2022.
A key reason for this is the port’s bunkering partner Sinopec actively operating in the market, bringing significant value addition to the HIP’s commercial operations.
The overall oil and gas throughput handled by the port in 2023 was 918,000 metric tonnes with 700,000 MT of bunker and 218,000 MT LPG cargoes.
“We are looking at the energy sector as a growth market for HIP and are actively promoting it,” Chief Operating Officer of Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) Tissa Wickremasinghe, said in a statement.
“We expect these figures to more than double in the current year. With Sinopec partnering with HIP, we are changing the dynamics of bunker supplies in the Indian Ocean, adhering to the highest levels of health and safety.”
A total of 35 vessels called at HIP in July 2023, making it the month for the highest number of calls during the year.
LPG vessel calls had increased 186 percent and bunker vessels 125 percent in 2023 from 114 bunker and 15 LPG vessels that called in 2022.