Petronet LNG to start bunkering services

03 May 2021

Petronet LNG Ltd. (PLL) intends to start bunkering services to ocean-going vessels from its Kochi terminal as part of shoring up its business volumes. 

Globally ships are slowly converting to LNG or other green fuels. Given the circumstances, providing bunkering services would mop up the revenues as well, Yogananda Reddy, Chief General Manager, and Vice President, PLL, Kochi terminal said.

“We are working on the project, but yet to finalise the market requirements like the number of ships plying with LNG as a fuel on the international shipping route off Kochi,” he said.

The Rs 4,700 crore terminal in Kochi had already provided LNG bunkering to two Norwegian ships in 2015. But a similar model cannot be worked out now because of the bigger size of many ocean-going ships. These ships cannot be berthed at the terminal for fueling and there is a need to deploy bunker barges alongside bunkering on the route of ships, he added.

Asked on the investment part of the project, Reddy said, “It is too early to say anything on the cost aspect as it all depends on the customer base, their requirements, etc. A final figure can be arrived at once we get the exact number of customers.”

Meanwhile, the 5-million tonne Kochi terminal has attained 30% of its capacity after the natural gas started flowing to Mangaluru with the completion of GAIL pipelines in March. Mangaluru is a good consumption point for natural gas and the prominent customers include MRPL, Mangalore Chemicals, and Fertilisers, OMPL, etc which started taking a sizeable quantity. The gas connectivity has also ensured the arrival of two LNG-laden ships per month to the terminal with 1,50,000 cubic metre of liquified natural gas against one in the earlier period, he said.