Hambantota International Port (HIP) has awarded a tender to Beijing-based Sinopec to operate and maintain the port’s oil tank terminal, along with associated facilities, as part of its efforts to become a strategic regional bunkering centre. It is expected that, as a result of the agreement, the tank storage facility in the Sri Lankan port will this year start to provide high grades of marine fuels compliant with the IMO 2020 low sulphur guidelines.
According to Ray Ren, Chief Executive of HIP, “The partnership with Sinopec, which is one of the largest providers of bunkers worldwide, underlines our goal of becoming a bunkering hub for the entire region. Plans are already in the pipeline to expand our tank capacity in the near future.”
HIPG states that 23 interested parties from Singapore, China, India, Dubai and Sri Lanka, purchased tender documents and participated in the pre-bid meeting. Sinopec is said to have been awarded the tender on the basis of its global network and terminal operations experience. “Due to their global networking strength, Sinopec will be in a position to offer competitive pricing, opening doors for local parties hoping to provide bunkering services,” claims Ren. “We plan to expand the port’s capacity over the next five years, bringing us closer to our goal of establishing the port as a regional bunkering hub.”