'Port Trusts need to develop deeper draft ports/SPMs'
Most of our major ports are old and do not have adequate
draft for large size crude/product tankers. This necessitates costly
dead-freighting or lighterage and reduces competitiveness. Hence, port trusts
need to develop deeper draft ports/SPMs and provide
land for tankage at concessional rates and reduce the cost of operation," said
A.B. Sathe, Executive Director, International Trade & Supplies, HPCL. Sathe was
India Maritime Summit 2006 organised by CII in Mumbai recently.
At present, ports are facing a lot of constraints. For example, at Mumbai Port,
the permissible draft for crude tankers is only 12.2 metres and for product
tankers it is 11.2 metres. Fully loaded suezmax tankers require a draft of 17
metres and displacement of 160,000 mt; at Mumbai Port, however, the permissible
displacement is 125,000 mt. Besides, loaded vessels can be berthed only during
high tide. Similarly, at Vizag Port, fully loaded suezmax tankers can be berthed
only in daylight while VLCCs cannot be berthed at all.
"There is need for exponential growth in gross tonnage as India's GDP continues
to grow at around 8 per cent leading to growth in inbound and outbound sea
trade," Sathe noted. According to him, India needs to develop an efficient
shipbuilding industry to build all sizes of tankers at a much faster rate to
take advantage of the growing demand. This would help reduce ship acquisition
cost which in turn would reduce transportation costs for the oil industry.
[13 November 2006]