HIP has formed a strategic partnership with Sinopec Fuels of Lanka (SOFL) which intends to expand Sri Lanka’s share of the regional bunker market and has invested over $5m in a tanker which flies the Sri Lankan flag.
Operations have now started with local bunker supplier Lanka Marine Services (LMS) as SOFL’s first buyer supplying very low sulphur fuel oil (VLSFO) to the tanker Suez Hans enroute from Chennai to Suez. The tanker refueled at the Hambantota Port anchorage via oil barge Kumana, chartered to LMS by HIP.
“We intend bringing cost-competitive low sulphur fuel to all local players who will in turn bring their global clients to Sri Lanka. We imported 25,000 tons of low sulphur fuel oil to HIP in April 2020, but the port could not begin bunkering operations because of the Covid-19 lockdowns. As operations are now reactivated, we are ready to supply and make mutually beneficial partnerships,” said Tao Lyu, general manager of SOFL.
Sinopec will guarantee the supply of VLSFO and marine gas oil (MGO) at Hambantota port bolstered its ambitions as a regional bunkering hub.
Tissa Wickremasinghe, coo of HIPG said, “Through our partnership with Sinopec, one of the largest global players trading VLSFO, they are well positioned to give competitive prices to attract vessels. This is a new and dynamic change in the bunkering supply market in Sri Lanka. With Sinopec entering the local market as a wholesaler the doors are now open to tap into the economies of scale this global giant can provide.”