Sixfold increase in Hambantota’s bunker fuel throughput in 1H 2023

The Hambantota International Port (HIP) says six times more bunker fuel volumes were handled in the first half this year than over the same period last year.

The Sri Lankan port’s oil and gas throughput stood over 500,000 mt in June.

“Marine fuel bunkers make up a large percentage of the throughput we have achieved so far and we are seeing the numbers steadily increasing. This is mainly due to the close collaboration we have with our bunkering partner Sinopec Fuel Oil Lanka (SFOL),” HIP’s chief operating officer Tissa Wickramasinghe says.

The oil tanker Swarna Godavari recently unloaded 31,500 mt of VLSFO in the port, taking its total throughput to around 520,000 mt – which broke HIP’s Energy Services Department’s (ENS) previous record, HIP says.

The port authority says a significant rise in vessel calls was the primary reason for achieving the target. The total number of vessel calls nearly tripled from just 50 in the first half of last year to 143 in the same period this year.

In March, Chinese refiner Sinopec offered to fully fund the construction of a refinery in Hambantota.

Sinopec opened an oil storage depot in Hambantota in 2020 and later started supplying bunker fuels to vessels calling at the port. The port is leased to China for 99 years and is part of its Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

Hambantota has a fuel storage capacity of 51,000 cbm for VLSFO, 23,000 cbm for MDO and 6,000 cbm for LPG, according to the HIP website.
Source: ENGINE by Tuhin Roy,

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