Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Thursday, Dec 04, 2003
Corporate - Announcements
IOC offers products to Bangladesh through Haldia
Kolkata , Dec. 3
INDIAN Oil Corporation (IOC) would like to export petroleum products by barges from Haldia to Khulna (Bangladesh) and has accordingly mooted a proposal to the state-owned Bangladesh Petroleum Corporation.
"We can supply up to half a million tonnes annually," said Mr M.S. Ramachandran, Chairman of IOC, while talking to newspersons here on Tuesday. "We are yet to get BPC's reply," Mr Ramachandran said.
Right now Bangladesh imports substantial quantities of petroleum products through its Chittagong port. Since Haldia would be closer to Khulna, it would make sense to lift the products from Haldia to save substantially on freight cost.
Haldia dock, according to IOC Chairman, would gradually also emerge as the company's export point. A beginning had already been made with a few parcels of exports of diesel and motor spirit having taken place in past few months. More such shipments were likely to take place in due course.
The export of bitumen too held out a big promise. The first shipment of 10,000 tonnes to Africa took place recently through a private trader. With the completion of the construction of the pipeline from the Haldia refinery to the second oil jetty in February, direct shiploading of bitumen would be possible.
Right now, Haldia handles more than 10 million tonnes of traffic for IOC - about six to seven million tonnes of crude and another three to four million tonnes of products.
Mr Ramachandran conceded that the commissioning of the 350-km long Haldia-Paradip crude pipeline would bring down Haldia dock's crude throughput substantially.
The proposed pipeline, with the capacity of more than 10 million tonnes, would handle almost the entire crude traffic currently being handled by the dock for both the refineries at Haldia and Barauni.
However, some quantities of domestic crude, mostly Ravva crude, would still be handled by the dock. Also, the products in smaller tankers. Right now about 1.5 million tonnes of Ravva crude were routed through Haldia for Bongaigaon Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd, he said.
The West Bengal Government, the IOC Chairman said, suggested setting up of a chemicals park at Haldia and favoured the idea of a chemical jetty to support the units to be set up in the park suggesting that the loss of crude traffic to be caused by the commissioning of the Haldia-Paradip crude pipeline could be compensated by the traffic to be generated from the park.
The West Bengal Government, which would provide about 1000 acres of land for the proposed park, hoped that IOC would participate in the park, he said.
Mr M.L. Meena, Deputy Chairman of Kolkata Port Trust in charge of Haldia dock, told Business Line that the need for a separate jetty for handling chemicals was being felt in view of the rise in chemicals traffic through the dock.
Right now the chemicals were being handled in the oil jetties (number one and number two) of the dock, creating some congestion problem as these two jetties were primarily meant for handling crude and petroleum products.
"If the chemical park really comes up and there is a steady flow of chemicals traffic, there should be no problem for the port authorities to construct a dedicated jetty for handling the traffic," Mr Meena observed.
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