Sri Lanka, June 28 -- Sri Lanka Ports Authority (SLPA) having realized the necessity of replacing the dilapidated existing bunker fuel pipeline which is more than 60 years old and runs from the Bloemendhal Oil Terminal to the Port of Colombo, on a priority basis to be used by all license holders, with enhanced efficiency and productivity, has scheduled to commence a new project of laying of new bunker fuel pipe lines.
The project jointly undertaken by the Civil Engineering Division and the Mechanical Works Division of SLPA will be commenced on July 28 under the direct supervision of Dr Priyath B Wickrama Chairmen of SLPA and inaugurated by Deputy Minister of Ports and Highways - Rohitha Abegunawardhane. The project which costs Rs 250 million is scheduled to be completed in July 2013. Upon the declaration of Presidential grant of the land of 8 acres 2 roods 21.44 perches which was within the declared limits of the Port of Colombo by the Supreme Court restoring the possession of the said facility to the SLPA immediate steps were taken to enhance the bunker business in Sri Lanka.
Accordingly, SLPA also entered into fresh agreements for the use of facilities within the port on equal terms with all parties licensed to supply bunkers.
Having taken over the premises, SLPA has initiated steps to satisfy the requirements of the holders of bunker license by utilizing the common user facility at the Port of Colombo and the Bloemandhal Oil Terminal. Jaya Container Terminals Limited - the Management Agency of the SLPA entered into agreement with all 10 holders of bunker licenses to make available facilities at the Oil Terminal. To enhance the storage capacity to be shared by the license holders, a new storage tank with the capacity of 5,300 mt was also constructed at a cost of Rs.70 million. Accordingly, storage capacity has seen increased to almost 35,000 MT at the oil terminal.
Until 2008, only the Dolphin Tanker Berth was available for berthing of oil tankers to discharge bunker fuel to the storage facilities. Sri Lanka Ports Authority has converted new north pier as a multi purpose berth to accommodate oil tankers as an alternate berth which cost approximately Rs. 40 million.
This has resulted faster turn round time of oil tankers and to avoid payment of demur-rages to the ship owners due to non availability of a tanker berth.
At the time of taking over of the management of oil terminal, there was only one 2 ton capacity boiler for the heating of HFO 380 cst furnace oil. Delays were experienced to heat furnace oil when only available boiler was released for repairs.
A new 3 ton boiler has been imported, installed and commissioned at a cost of Rs.20 Million to ensure uninterrupted loading of HFO 380 cst with the required temperature.
Engine pumps at the Pump House of the Oil Terminal used for pumping of bunker fuel from the storage tanks to the bunker barges that were 15 to 35 years old are also in the process of replacement by Sri Lanka Ports Authority to maintain higher pumping rates to ensure higher productivity of the loading operation.
Steps are also being taken to install volume meters in the storage tanks which are used for the discharging and loading of bunker fuel to monitor loading and discharging operations from a Control Rook to ensure spilled free bunker operations.
Once the new pipelines are laid under the project that commences on 13th June 2012, discharging and loading of furnace oil could be effected at a higher pumping rate resulting enhanced efficiency and productivity in bunker operation. Construction work of the tank farm at the Port of Hambantota has been competed and ready for commencement of bunkering business within the next few months. At present, Sri Lanka Ports Authority is taking all steps to develop Sri Lanka as a bunkering hub in order to assist developing maritime, aviation, energy, commercial and knowledge hubs identified in the "Mahinda Chinthana" policy document. Published by HT Syndication with permission from Daily News Sri Lanka. For any query with respect to this article or any other content requirement, please contact Editor at email@example.com
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