Hambantota Port begins MGO fuel bunkering operations

Oil tanker “Sunny Bay”, carrying 15,000 metric tonnes of marine gas oil (MGO), called at the Hambantota International Port (HIP) on Sunday (23) and the vessel was the first to discharge MGO for storage at the port’s tank farm.

Hambantota International Port Group (HIPG) Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Johnson Liu said: “With our Lloyds-certified oil storage facility and state-of-the-art testing capabilities, HIP has the overall capacity to add great value to customers.  With our location in the Indian Ocean rim, where 50% of the world’s maritime oil is traded, our oil fuel bunker, liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), and future liquefied natural gas (LNG) operations, we are securing the Hambantota Port’s rightful place as a global maritime location.”

Benchmarking international standards, HIP has also set up a state-of-the-art petroleum testing laboratory in partnership with leading global independent inspection service provider Intertek Lanka, to provide innovative and bespoke assurance, testing, inspection, and certification services for bunker fuels, LPG, LNG, and other petrochemical products. The laboratory located within the port premises is classified as a truly international facility capable of testing ‘IMO 2020’ – global sulphur protocol.

The lab testing facility will enable HIP clients to get their products such as fuel oil, marine diesel and marine gas oils tested efficiently and with ease, at the bunker terminal site, ensuring that products meet the required international quality standards. The port’s dedicated professional team ensures safe operations of the oil tank network, ancillary pipelines, oil berth jetties, and control systems, which are on par with international standards. All supporting facilities for operational safety are in place, such as a wholly functional firefighting system and wastewater treatment facility. 

HIP, with its global partner Sinopec, launched bunkering operations for very low sulphur fuel oils (VLSFO) last year.  Now, with the tank farm along with its oil jetties fully refurbished and Food Safety Supervisor (FSS) certified for safety by the Lloyd’s Register, HIP is ready to utilise the storage facility allocated for MGO and marine diesel oil (MDO).  The port which received their first MGO shipment is now capable of providing a full complement of bunkering fuels to its customers, positioning as a strategic bunker operator in the region.

HIP’s location in close proximity to one of the busiest sea routes coupled with the port’s partnership with top global player Sinopec to provide IMO 2020 compliant high-quality fuel oils, makes Sri Lanka’s energy market more competitive while benefiting Sri Lankan players supplying bunkers for vessels. Once commenced, HIP will cater to the second-highest demand in the maritime industry. The MGO supplied by the port is of very high quality, compliant with ISO 8271 standard and can also be provided to overseas locations such as the Maldives.

The Sinopec group, the port’s bunker partner, was ranked second in the Fortune Global 500 list in 2020, and a global leader in the fields of oil exploration, production, refining, marketing, and distribution. The partnership between Sinopec International Petroleum Services Corporation and HIPG will not only benefit the two parties and their international clientele, but will also boost the Sri Lankan oil and gas industry, which will see the highest standards in terms of quality, knowledge, and expertise.