June 09, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Hambantota Mahinda Rajapaksa International Port will begin fuel bunkering operations by June 15 at the new fuel bunkering terminal, Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) Chairman Priyath Bandu Wickrama said.
The terminal, which was constructed at a cost of US $95 million under the Magampura Port development project, will provide fuel for ships.
The ship fuelling has an initial capacity of 55,000 metric tons and it is scheduled to expand gradually parallel to the expansion of the port and its services, the Chairman said.
An oil tank farm with 14 tanks with an investment of US$ 76 million is also constructed at the Hambantota Port. The farm has eight tanks for fuel bunkering facilities for vessels, three tanks for aero fuel and three tanks for storing LP gas. The 14 tanks will also have an overall capacity of 80,000 cubic meters.
The tank farm will initially handle 55,000 metric tons of shipping fuel with eight tanks and is expected to add further 100,000 metric tons under the second phase.
Initially bunkering services will be offered at the lowest possible rate in the Indian subcontinent.
The Authority expects that many of the 4,500 oil tankers would anchor at Hambantota for bunkering, ship repairing and also to purchase food, water, medical supplies as well as logistics.
According to the chairman, all facilities have been tested for fuel bunkering and the first shipment of fuel for bunkering will be received in the first week of June.