Sri Lanka boosting Colombo bunkering capacity 50 pct

Thursday, 1 September 2011 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

(Reuters) - Sri Lanka plans to increase bunkering capacity at its port of Colombo by more than 50 percent as demand for marine fuel is rising along with an increase in its post-war shipping business, the country's ports authority said on Tuesday.

The capacity at the country's main sea port will rise to 45,000 tonnes from 29,500 tonnes with two new bunkering oil tanks.

"It's a positive development and that will increase the opportunities," said Suresh Kumar, MD of the Lanka IOC, the local retail oil arm of state-run Indian Oil Corp and one of the three bunker licence holders.

Sri Lanka has already secured $2.5 billion in investment for port-related activities as it prepares commercial operations in its new Hambantota port later this year.

Sri Lanka has planned to start operations in September at the 82,000 tonne capacity fuel bunkering terminal in Hambantota, located about 2 km from one of the world's busiest east-west shipping lanes.